WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST?
Seeds of hemlock, basswood, and birch scattered over crusted snow makes a valuable food source for overwintering animals. In this case, the seeds of hophornbeam provides a quick meal for a cottontail rabbit. Also known as ironwood due to their dense bark, these understory trees can be promoted in partially shaded areas but will fruit with more sunlight. Look for the vertical shreddy bark all year round. I think I might have noticed some coyote tracks nearby too.
Catskill Forest Association