Crow’s Nest snow scenes
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.
The significant snow has been cleared from driveways and walkways, and I sprinkled new gravel over the snow left in the parking lot after plowing for traction (gravel can’t be cleared completely bare). The snow has compacted a bit and walking is possible on the trails though skiing or snowshoeing are also still good options.
Above, the Chief’s Grove stands out surrounded by meadows and trails. Piersol Road frames the picture at lower right; the forested hills in the background are in French Creek State Park.
French Creek itself meanders through our forested floodplain. The Creek Trail follows the creek here. Low-gradient streams that meander create good habitat for those creatures that don’t benefit from steep fast-flowing streams; wood turtles are one species that comes to mind.
Above, the culvert Natural Lands installed in 2012 is shown above. The previous culvert had been perpendicular to the trail but not parallel with the stream; this one is parallel with the stream but not perpendicular to the trail—but since it was designed to be much longer the trail still offers the full width of access for farm equipment. As you might guess, I’m still impressed with the engineering that went into this (here’s to you, Bob Johnson), and pleased with how the vegetation has filled in around it. I was surprised to realize that this was installed just over eight years ago—it now looks like a natural part of the landscape.