Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oof-dah! TONS of rain.

The creek is swollen and beige with sediment, flowing into Third Sister Lake. I wonder how many trees will fall tonight...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Work day recap

It was all-in-all a pretty good day: four students and two members of the local community (and a son of one of those two members) came to help out with the removal of garlic mustard, honeysuckle, and buckthorn; the trimming of the shoreline trees-cum-shrubbery; the removal of some downed trees; and the burning of most of the invasive plants and shrubbery. (I was, of course, out there already...)

Afterward, there was a small grill-out session (during which I ate an obscene amount of food), and then a row around Third Sister Lake.

I hope that more of these could be organized throughout the summer... and into the fall, if possible. There is surely a lot more that can be done throughout the 80 acres, and I am hoping that I might be able to continue partnering with the other caretakers, as well as to try and make some connections with the caretakers and administrators of the Nichols Arboretum.

We shall see. We shall see.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Work day tomorrow

The main body of this post is going to be long-winded (possibly because I'm a PhD student and I like to be long-winded).

The Twitter version, though, is this:
2MOROW: #SaginawForest workday 12-5pm: Cut invasives & deadfall Bring gloves/tools. 5pm-late grill & campfire. Park @ 3900WLibertyRd/call me

This is a reminder of the work day at Saginaw Forest tomorrow from 12-5pm... followed by a grill-out. The weather tomorrow should continue to track the continuous rise that we've experienced throughout this week, and looks to be in the mid-70s with very little chance for rain (or snow or sleet, or hail). Indeed, it looks like it will be a great day, and I urge you to come out to the forest tomorrow to help with some maintenance of one of SNRE's properties.

Many of you are likely familiar with Saginaw Forest through the annual campfire event in the fall and/or through various classes that use Saginaw Forest as one of their field sites. There are been many interesting ongoing research and management projects taking place in Saginaw Forest, and the maintenance of the forest for its multiple goals of research, teaching, and recreation is always in need of additional assistance.

To wit, there are a few specific things that I would like help in addressing tomorrow:
  • Getting rid of garlic mustard
  • Excising invasive barberry, buckthorn, and honeysuckle
  • Chopping up deadfall trees (some for the eventual use in this fall's campfire)
If you can help with any of these things, that would really help me with helping to maintain one of (at least what I biasedly believe to be) SNRE's jewels, and one of the oldest forested lots (artificially planted though it may be) in Michigan and, indeed, in the Midwest.

Afterward, there will be grilling and (if the weather continues along as lovely as the forecasts say it ought to) a campfire, so if you can't work during the day, then do come after 5pm. The only thing that I ask is that, if you do come after 5pm, please bring some food to share with those who toiled during the day (volunteer workers, basic grilling foods -- burgers, dogs, veggie burgers, and some veggies -- will be provided to you, courtesy of the outer-property caretakers).

Saginaw Forest is located at 3900 West Liberty Road just west of the Liberty & Wagner intersection. Since vehicular space at the forest is limited, I urge people to carpool or (as I do) cycle. To get here from inside Ann Arbor, the directions are quite simple:
  1. Locate Liberty Street/Road
  2. Get on it
  3. Head away from State Street (i.e., go west)
  4. Go 750m (0.46 mile) past Wagner (i.e., 2.6km/1.6mi past Stadium)
  5. Turn in at 3900 West Liberty Road (be careful of cars parked illegally at the entrance)
  6. Take the dirt road to the cabin (i.e., take a right at the one and only fork in the road)
  7. Park as close as you can to other vehicles (if you are the first, park as close to the edge as possible)
If you bike, then you can park your bike in the barn.

If you don't want to park too close to other cars, then you can park in the far-western lobe of the Liberty-Wagner Business Complex or on the street at Westview Way, and make use of the "user-generated entrances" located near each unofficial "parking zone".

I hope to see you tomorrow!

Apparent lapse in WM payment

Apparently the payment to Waste Management (WM) had lapsed at some point during the last month, and the bi-weekly recycling pick-up didn't take my recycling. (I knew it was recycling pick-up day because my neighbor had put out their recycling bin.) This had happened last year, too. Thing was: last year I received notification. There was none this year.

Ah well. Must report this before it becomes a serious problem.

Foggy morning

It's a foggy morning. However, unlike previous mornings of fog and gloom, this is a humid morning of greenness that could almost remind one of Star Wars' Dagobah. Okay, minus the strange creatures that one saw fly across the screen in Empire Strikes Back, but still, a verdant and steamy fusion that, in any other year, would mean that it would be a hot and humid day. This year, due to the cool weather of the past few days (dipping almost back to freezing at one point), this foggy morning's supersaturation is does not augur a sticky, sweaty, mosquito-filled day.

... and since it is the day before the Saginaw Forest work day, this is a good thing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Upcoming work day in Saginaw Forest

This upcoming Saturday will be a work day in Saginaw Forest. From noon until 5pm, friends, colleagues, and their friends and colleagues will come out to the forest to help pull weeds, cut down invasive trees, chop up downed trees, etc.

... and then have a grill-out to celebrate a good day's work.

I hope that it will be a success.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A daze of Saginaw Forest

Studying the black raspberry

For his master's thesis AB will be investigating the fitness of black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis). Apparently, not a lot of modern ecological research has been done on this native plant, and much of what is available is from natural history descriptions that are somewhat contradictory.


AB's got several plots -- collections of canes that are at least 50 meters apart from each other -- in Saginaw Forest as well as a number in Stinchfield Woods. Hopefully, the work that he does will help give better scientific insight into this plant that is -- at the same time -- both temptingly tasty and annoyingly prolific.

Rainy morning

The temperature dropped overnight to the 40s, and this morning has been rain, rain, rain. Ahh... Michigan springs.

Still, it's nice to see rain on greenery again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Geese and goslings

Geese and goslings by umlud
Geese and goslings, a photo by umlud on Flickr.

Another sign of spring: goslings. Usually quite cute. However, when all the geese are honking up a storm at dawn, their presence on Third Sister Lake becomes somewhat annoying.

More damnable garlic mustard

Well, it's definitely spring: the garlic mustard's up.

Damnable garlic mustard

Luckily, they pull up quite easily when they get to their flowering stage.

Luckily, too, the areas that I pulled last year are not returning this year.

Remediation of the lawn and road

Part of the lawn and part of the road were degraded due to the drilling activity a few months ago. The lawn will be remediated today.
Straw matting

The road will be regraded tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Partially washed out berm

Partially washed out berm by umlud
Partially washed out berm, a photo by umlud on Flickr.

Yet another impact from the massive storms of last week.

A slow spring

It's the start of May and the forest is not as far along as it was last year. I've been taking photos from the front of the cabin over the past two years (much more often this year than last). According to the news, this cool spring is likely to continue through May, thanks to the rather strong La Nina that is happening this year.

May 2, 2009

early spring
April 23, 2010

May 4, 2010

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wind + Torrential Rain + Dead Ash Trees

Walking around the forest, I found one of the continuing impacts of the emerald ash borers that came through Michigan a few years ago, destroying all the planted ash trees throughout the area (including Saginaw Forest).

In addition to the expected ecological changes that are caused by the loss of a significant tree species in a forested area, there are direct physical impacts that are likely to happen, such as winds toppling the trees in the sodden ground caused by recent torrential rains (~1.7 inches in 2 hours). In this case, the toppled tree's roots pulled up parts of the road next to it...

I wonder how I'm going to apply maintenance to this problem: