Mariton: Winter Walk

February 7, 2014

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Mariton didn’t get as much freezing rain as was predicted on Wednesday.  So, we didn’t lose power, or have branches come down.  It was a mess here though, and I spent all day Wednesday plowing and shoveling the slush.  We ended up with 1.39” of melted precipitation from that event, which is a lot of moisture.  Unfortunately, many of NLT’s other preserves were severely impacted.  Our headquarters at Hildacy was also without power, meaning that I couldn’t receive or send emails.  So, if you sent me an email during this period and it was returned, please try to send it again.

Main Trail

The freezing rain did leave a crust on the snow.  In places I break through the crust, in other places it will bear my weight.  It is tough walking.  With snowshoes I was able to stay on top of the crust and check trails.  Unfortunately, the snow shoes were really noisy.  The woods are really beautiful.  These are some photos take on Thursday during my walk.

 South Fox Trail

(South Fox Trail)

Bladdernut seed pods

Bladdernut seed pods Staphylea trifolia

One of my goals for mowing meadows in March is to keep the vegetation above the snow during the winter.  Right now, the crust is keeping birds and other small animals from access to seeds and food on the ground.  Not all seed heads in the photo below are encased in ice, and many more thawed in Thursday’s bright sunlight.  All of this food would be inaccessible to wildlife if I had mowed during the fall.  (Granted, I don’t need frozen ground to get my tractor into my fields to mow.)

Winter Field