When Junipers Fail

The workhorses on my property are One-Seed Junipers (Juniperus monosperma).

In this area, juniper berries are a big part of the winter diet of dozens of bird species, black, bear, mule deer, wolves, all the way down to rock squirrels and mice.

This most reliable winter berry crop failed this year.  On my property and all around my house there are no juniper berries.  I hope the crop loss is not too widespread.

Ten long drought years caused a lot of species to die back and have reduced my forest to near monoculture status.  Reliance on one food causes malnutrition and susceptibility to disease.  The loss of that one food is death.

Since I moved here a year ago I have distributed over 10,000 native seeds for various flowers and fruiting shrubs.  When our drought broke in late summer, the annuals bloomed in the thousands around my house and I have perennial and shrub seedlings.  I don’t know if it will it be enough to sustain the base of the food chain on my property.

 

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About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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