Seed Swaps

Tree Identification

03 May 2012
Overcast 20°C / 68°F

It was a strange day weather-wise. Overcast/sunny/cloudy/hot/humid/ick. I got the second coat on the top of pasture shelter. With the humidity the way it is I have no idea how long it will take to dry.

Once the paint dries I just need to flip it over and paint the base, attach the wheels, cover the front and back with hardware cloth, and hang the door and then the chickens can go outside! Oh, and put the roof on. And go to the store to buy the bolts, hardware and wheels. And set up the electric fence. But “finishing” the pasturing project is in sight.

I was able to take tour of the uncultivated area in which succession to forest is underway. I noticed along the road that the serviceberries were in bloom and I wanted to tag them so I could check for fruit later. To tag the trees I made tags out of a Reitmans (clothing store) bag by cutting it into strips and then copying the design of a tag off a shrub. I wrote on the labels with my garden marker, which is UV resistant.

I found what appears to be both smooth and downy serviceberries. I also found what I believe to be a tamarack. Most interesting was a butterfly which I had not seen before.

Also on the observation front, I noticed that there is a clearing near some of the wild apple trees which appears to have decent soil. It’s a bit sheltered and I think it might be a good spot for the pear trees as it is further along the path to being a forest than the areas that are just lawn.


  1. Clearing & wild apple tree on left.
  2. Homemade tree tags.
  3. Smooth Serviceberry
  4. Butterfly (anyone know what it is?)
  5. Downy serviceberry clump




I believe your butterfly is a Mourning Cloak. (To tell the truth, I didn’t know that off the top of my head … I did a google search!)

Posted on 05 May 12 (about 4 years ago)

It could be a Nymphalis antiopa (Camberwell Beauty – oh, I’m reading now that in North America is known as ..Mourning Cloak!)

Posted on 05 May 12 (about 4 years ago)

Yes it does look like a Mourning Cloak and it makes sense timing-wise. Overwintering as adults is impressive! Thanks HollyBee & cristina.

Posted on 05 May 12 (about 4 years ago)

Very clever, the shrub/tree tags! I made plant id’s to stick in the ground by cutting strips of not quite rigid plastic from an empty, plastic gallon jug that held some sort of juice or liquid and cutting a point at one end. I like this because I can make them longer than is sold commercially…..and they’re free. Added value recycling!

Google gave me Mourning Cloak, also:
and images:

Posted on 05 May 12 (about 4 years ago)


Folia Helper

United Kingdom8b

I adore that smooth serviceberry macro (photo 3) and what an awesome butterfly capture!
Well done everyone on the identification. :)

Posted on 05 May 12 (about 4 years ago)

I was getting exhausted just reading the first part of your post! :-)
nice pics of the blooms and great plant tags—(smart!)
I have never seen a mourning cloak before (that I remember anyway) really pretty.

Posted on 05 May 12 (about 4 years ago)

@rosemarieGardener That looks like a great butterfly identification website, exactly what I was looking for. I kept coming up with really detailed sites that were a bit beyond my butterfly knowledge. Thanks for sharing that link!

I like the idea of using plastic jugs for plant tags. I think that would be good for marking where I plant bulbs in the fall – preventing them from being dug up by accident in the spring. The trees I was tagging will have pretty dense undergrowth within a few weeks as they are in the bush/wild area, so I needed tags higher up.

@Tralamander Thanks!

@glgardener I was able to get it painted yesterday, which feels like a huge weight off my shoulders. Perhaps not surprisingly, the project is taking even longer than I expected, but as I flipped the shelter on its side I realized how solid it is and I’m really pleased with the design. I think it will hold up much better than a (probably simpler to build) more boxy design.

Posted on 06 May 12 (about 4 years ago)

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