Crow’s Nest: An early Autumn walk
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager
We’ve had some glorious weather, and now that we have some much-needed rain I have time to upload the photos from a walk around Crow’s Nest this week.
The Creek Trail is improving little by little with new boardwalks and fewer wet spots. The teen volunteers, graduates of our summer camp programs, have spread gravel over some eroded portions. This is a labor-intensive job as it requires carrying the gravel in by bucket and wheelbarrow where it is needed.
Filed in the “build it and they will come” category, two species of wildflowers appeared spontaneously along the creek trail recently where suitable habitat was found. Populations of wildflowers come and go with disturbance and available seed source. Turtlehead, Chelone glabra (below) has been found elsewhere at the preserve but now can be seen along the Creek Trail. The same goes for bottle gentian, Gentiana andresii (photo below the turtlehead).
Even after blooming, cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinals) is still striking in appearance.
I’m not going to make predictions on peak fall color yet, but I will say that both poison ivy (below) and American dogwood trees that are growing in full sun are at their peak right now.
And here’s a photo of two of our steers taking a break from the prescribed grazing they are doing as part of a habitat restoration.