I didn’t carry my camera today. Should have. It would have been awesome to take a picture of the forest floor… a study in diversity. I did that once at Audubon and posted it on Flickr. The forest floor at Long Point State Park would have been a different combination.
Tulip Tree, Cucumber Magnolia, several kinds of maple, several kinds of oak, birches, aspens, cherries, so many… Overwhelming! I brought home three leaves for comparison… one that I knew already, and two that I didn’t. I wondered if I could puzzle them out… without a field guide, since I left all the tree books at work. Then I found a really, really cool website for identifying trees. It’s a click-by-click key… really easy to use. I’ll show you the steps using this leaf: (You may already know what it is, but play along!)
It is an American Beech (Fagus grandifolia). The last click takes you to a fact sheet about your tree.
Using the same method, I was able to identify this one, too:
Eastern Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)