In the browse area you will see many deer tracks and small piles of pellet-shaped, deer feces. Deer only partially digest their browse so this feces represents a rich nutrient source for decomposer organisms. The deer feces may also contain seeds which will sprout out of this natural fertilizer in the spring. This is probably one way the wild raspberry shown here are spread and planted. You can recognize raspberry canes by their reddish purple color and short, sharp thorns.

Red berries of the barberry plant in winter

Wild raspberry canes in winter
There are many other shrubs and vines along the trail, some with berries which persist through the winter. Why haven't these berries been eaten? One possible explanation is that they are unpalatable or poisonous. Pictured to the left are the berries of barberry, a shrub found throughout the first part of the Trail.

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