Last weekend, my husband and I spent the morning pruning the timber trees at our tree farm. I love to prune. It is an art and a science: studying the tree to determine the dominant leader, envisioning the natural balance of the tree, thinking about the affect of sunlight, and removing deer damaged limbs. It is a physically and mentally active task that has aesthetic and financial rewards. It is also much different than pruning ornamental trees and shrubs, which I also love to prune. The point to pruning ornamentals (other than topiary) is to restore it to its natural shape, to encourage new growth and blooms, and to remove diseased branches or prevent disease. The point to pruning timber is to produce the largest and straightest trunk.
I took my camera planning to take before and after pictures of pruning, similar to the Purdue article linked above. After taking several "before" pictures of the first tree to be pruned and then several "after" pictures, Steve suggested that perhaps we didn't have time to both photograph and prune. Although, we did have time to hike down the river trail. It was much easier going down than going up.
I was glad I had my camera though, because we saw lots of animal activity in the snow. I didn't snap pictures of the bloody snow where some poor rabbit met its demise, but I did take pictures of the red fox tracks. You can tell it's a fox because of the size of the track and the track is in a straight line. Imagine keeping all four legs in a straight line while loping across woodlands. The other track isn't Bigfoot, but Steve leading the way.