Friday, March 18, 2011

Wood Frogs in action

This past week's rain storms, combined with Thursday's very mild temperatures, have brought about a flurry of breeding activity from a few of our area's local amphibians.  One of the first species to begin their spring ritual is the Wood frog (Rana sylvatica).

Though the sight and sound of this species is typically overlooked because of their chosen breeding locations (woodland pools), now is the best time of year to catch a glimpse of dozens of these frogs inhabiting the shallow waters of our forest's woodland pools.  Soon they will be laying eggs and then retreating back into the forest for the remainder of the year.

Below is a short video I recorded on Thursday, March 17 at the woodland pool located adjacent to the Wood Thrush trail here at Westmoreland.  I hope you enjoy the video, but I really hope you'll get out to see these beautiful amphibians for yourself in a woodland pool near you.

-Adam Zorn, Naturalist

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Maple taps running strong

On the afternoon of March 1st, I tapped 11 sugar maple trees around our nature museum and sugar house.  The weather conditions were ideal for a great first run of sap - mid 40's, sunny, and clear skies.

Here's a quick video of one of the freshly tapped trees:

This bucket was completely full of sap by 1:30pm the following afternoon. If ideal conditions persist, we'll have a wonderful harvest this year.

During the coming weeks, we'll be converting the clear, sugary sap into sweet, sticky syrup.  Stop by on March 5 at 11am or March 13 at 2pm to see one of our maple sugaring demonstrations!

-Adam Zorn, Naturalist