Today we took a short stroll onto a trail which by my count should be all but overcome by the new houses going up in the latest big bulldozing. A shame really, so we try to get out to enjoy the trails while they're not yet over run by people.
So, we packed up our new field manual – a good carry-along book on tree identification. I'd been interested in expanding the knowledge I have of tree species beyond 'that's a Maple' for some time, so I thought to grab a few pictures of leaves and bark to help me research when not chasing a 4-year-old adventurer. I'm going to post the pics to reddit to make sure, but I think they're both sugar maples, one old and one young. I could be wrong and look forward to finding out.
Our walk was quick through the trail, as one of our hiker's little legs can only go so far. We made it 1.2 KM away from the vehicle before turning back. The mid morning sun started really beating down, too. By the time we'd reached the truck again, it was a good time to pack up.
I finished reading through the "Scouting for Boys" field book a short time back. It was written as the starting guide for interested parties to start scout troops back in 1908. It kept referring to 'scoutcraft' and 'trailcraft' as being, unsurprisingly so, integral to the upbringing of a scout troop. I participated in the Beavers program as a kid but didn't make it much past the first year of Cubs. Since then, I've kind of regretted not have the baseline knowledge the most scouts graduate with. Sure, I can see a Maple, but the purpose of this study is to identify which kind of Maple I'm looking at.
A short glance at my manual makes me think these trees are sugar maples, but as stated above, I'll be double checking this with the active community at /r/sfwtrees to make sure my understanding is correct. In my ongoing pursuit of simple pleasures and genuine experiences, taking a few moments to research tree identification is already much more fulfilling that the endless edutainment-scrolling I seem to chase online.