Walk focus on trees at Windsor Castle Park

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

By Beverley Ruegsegger

Contributing writer

On Saturday, Jan. 27, 20 people gathered to discover what nature’s winter is like in Windsor Castle Park. The day was not bitter cold, making it a pleasant time to be outside. 

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Stanley and Karen Barlow led the trek along one of the pedestrian trails stopping along the way to identify and describe various characteristics of trees that we encountered. Karen highlighted how each contributes to wildlife especially during the challenging times of winter. Stanley related historical connections of loblolly and longleaf pines in particular and introduced the group to several books that take the reader back to those wonder days of tall trees and boundless forests.

Other Master Naturalists from the Historic Southside Chapter added to the Barlows’ comments. Members chimed in along the way, helping us all appreciate the indispensable contributions of vernal pools to insect and amphibian life, the winter survival habits of birds and insects, the interesting life cycle of oak gall wasps and the importance of forest fungi.

Byron Carmean drew an audible response when he told of the size of some of the champion trees in Virginia helping us to see how many of the trees we see are just youngsters by comparison even though they seem quite large.  

Nature walks in WCP, such as these, will become regular seasonal events emphasizing different aspects of the park. Don’t miss out on the next adventure. Nature is always ready to present itself to inquiring minds.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.