11.07.2016 Beauty amidst Death

This is part of a dead or dying stand of Red Pines (Sylvestres resinosa) in the Quabbin Park area. The trees were infested by Red Pine Scale (Matsucoccus resinosae) which attacks them underneath the flaky bark. It was once a lovely small plantation that is now slowly being decimated by these tiny non-native insects..

quabbin-red-pine-dead-trunks-with-color-101816-800At one time this was one of my favorite locations to wander around, eventually landing at a beaver pond where I could find frogs and wildflowers- especially fringed gentian.  The pond became overgrown and, as you can see, the red pine stand is soon to be no more. Gradually over time the Massachusetts DCR work crews are taking down the dead trees.

I did not go down into this area so cannot identify the colorful vine climbing the pine trunk.  When I first noticed it there was brilliant back-lighting that disappeared as I got out of my car to photograph it. On my next trip by the leaves had all dropped.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Insect Behavior, Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to 11.07.2016 Beauty amidst Death

  1. Beautiful and graceful.
    Sad to see a grove of trees die of disease and insect infestations, but on a positive note, it looks like deciduous trees are stepping up and filling in. The foresters around central NY are planting red oaks now, instead of pine, because of the pine bark beetles, etc. but now the hemlocks are under attack, too, by woolly adelgid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that initially these pines were planted as timber, but once the land was taken for the reservoir and conservation, they were allowed to grow in place until the infestation. Much of the forest set aside for the watershed is managed to keep the reservoir full (as much as possible given our current drought) so in other areas foresters selectively cut trees or allow other folks to cut them for use or sale with a permit.
      We also have adelgids and need our hemlocks sprayed twice annually.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Too bad that such a pretty picture encompasses so much loss.

    A poem by Longfellow begins with the line “Under the spreading chestnut tree….” That species has largely been wiped out:



  3. Robert W Smith says:

    The vine is probably oriental bittersweet. If so, it would be good if it dies too.


  4. shoreacres says:

    Bittersweet always has been one of my fall favorites, and now I find that I may have been favoring an invasive species. When I made a trip back to Iowa in 2011, I couldn’t find any bittersweet draping the fences to bring home, and this may explain it. The farmers and others may have been eradicating it. I was disappointed, but did find some long strands of it that I’ve used since for decoration. They were on display in a gift shop: entirely artificial, but quite realistic. 🙂


    • There are two bittersweets in New England and elsewhere in the U.S., Linda. American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) as the name indicates is native. Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is the invader. So it is possible you have been admiring a native.


  5. A nice range of pastel color here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. krikitarts says:

    The leaves of that vine are pretty much the same super-saturated yellow of those of one of my favorite trees, the gingko. There’s one in our neighborhood that has been showing off for weeks, looking like a fireworks display. I hope the one in your image is the domestic variety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our town has planted a few gingkos among the thousand or so recently added to our landscape. But they are still saplings and, although very colorful even in youth, are not large enough for a proper display. Three are in our neighborhood and I am looking forward to seeing them for years to come.
      I don’t think it is, Gary. The oriental variety is quite widespread and living up to its “invasive” description. Next year I’ll wander down there and make certain.


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