It's cold, it's the middle of winter. You know spring will come but there's no sign of it yet. The sap is not rising in the trees (I know because I was pruning). Buds are not swelling. Days are getting longer but darkness still prevails. Did I mention it is cold?
Archive for January, 2010
Last night, the moon was the closest full moon of 2010, which made it big and bright. Actually, tonight (Saturday) is the full moon. I chose last night for the walk, because I wanted the moon to be high in the sky to light the trails as we began our walk.
The moon was so bright, that we were able to make distinct hand shadows on the trail as we walked. We could have read (large print) by the moonlight. We certainly didn't need flashlights to navigate the trails. We had the added bonus of Mars being just to the left of the moon, and visibly red. The Native Americans call this the Wolf Moon, because hungry wolves howl at the moon on cold winter nights.
And it was cold. So cold; that we could actually hear the Rhododendron leaves curling up to protect against the cold. Yet it was worth dressing appropriately to view the scenery of a moonlit landscape. We did not hear wolves, but we did hear at least one Screech Owl as we walked through the woods. If you missed Mariton's walk last night, Crow's Nest will have a program tonight which will be a lot of fun. If you can't make the Crow's Nest program, you owe it to yourself to bundle up and go outside to view the Moon and Mars. And don't be afraid to howl.
The roads were a little iffy earlier this morning but are improving steadily. We will hold WebWalkers this morning as planned. Be careful with your travel and it is okay to be late—or to decide not to drive.
It seems hard to believe but we have been writing this weblog for five years. Here's a link to the first entry which appeared in a slightly different form from the current one.
Soils and the plants that grow on them can hold a good deal of the element Carbon. How we manage land can affect the distribution or flow of carbon, a primary component of organic matter.
So carbon cycling is directly related to our land management activities: mowing, prescribed burning, invasive plant management, managing for water quality, managing a site in a particular state of plant succession, managing for wildlife, and choosing what to do with trees that fall in (or outside of) the forest. Also most management involves the use of power equipment that emits carbon from long-sequestered sources.
We are again pruning apple trees at the preserve: light annual pruning of the three near the visitor center and substantial rejuvenation of the ones on the land added to Crow's Nest in 2008. On these older trees that had been let go we are in the middle of a three (or more) year plan to bring them back to a manageable size; already we can make cuts we could only dream of last year.
We will be holding a Night Walk on Friday, January 29, from 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. This should be an interesting walk, as there are plenty of red foxes at Mariton that may vocalize. We have also been hearing both Screech Owls and Great-horned Owls calling in the evening.
The flier that was sent to Friends of Mariton, incorrectly said Saturday, January 29. The correct night is Friday, January 29. Please call if you plan to attend.