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 29, 2013

Muggy days in store this week.

Looking ahead to the weather of this week: it looks kinda icky. No low temps below 60F, and always humid. It looks like I'll be keeping the cabin closed up this week, with the dehumidifier running in order to take advantage of evaporative cooling.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Big, black ants in the cabin

I think that I've got carpenter ants in the cabin. There aren't swarms of them (yet), but I guess that I'll have to lay down some more ant bait (and also clean up the bread crumbs a little bit better. Happily, they don't seem to be going after my compost pile. Maybe because it's almost entirely coffee grounds.

Hello turkey vulture, please come back!


Last week there was a turkey vulture flapping around the trees near the cabin. Yesterday, I smelled the sickeningly sweet smell of decay. I guess this guy wasn't just paying a friendly visit, but was actually looking for lunch. Hopefully, it will eat its fill and help diminish the time that the rest of us have to smell the rot.

Voluntary Pulling of Garlic Mustard

Spring sprung very quickly, and the garlic mustard has been LOVING IT


and - although I have been pulling garlic mustard for the past month - it sometimes feels like I'm playing a game to stalemate...

Last week, I got an e-mail from a long-time walker:
We have noted garlic mustard in the past in the Saginaw. ... We were wondering if we could get permission to pull some garlic mustard. We know to bag it and that the seed pods can continue to develop after the flowers are picked.
Yesterday, I received an update:
I have done some but we have had difficulty finding time to do a concerted effort. Today we pulled for 2+ hours and filled 2 large bags; we left on in the fire pit but carried the other one out expecting to find more which we did.

As of now, the path from the Parkland Plaza entrance that passes the two lakes and then the cabin to the boardwalk are relatively clear. We found 2 areas more infiltrated off the trail towards the cabin after the tree root steps up and more in one section near the frog pond. Unfortunately, we did not get there early after blooming so hopefully got some seeds; it was harder to get roots since the ground is dry. We did not go on the upper trail but will, possibly Wednesday. Otherwise, the biggest patch we saw was by the cabin although we did not take side trails.

We saw lots of rosettes that will emerge next spring so hopefully the effort can start sooner.
Indeed, there was a trash bag filled with garlic mustard in the fire pit. I took it to the trash can at the front gate, and it will go out tomorrow for trash day.

A big and hearty, "THANK YOU!" to this visitor-steward and to everyone else who has been pulling out garlic mustard whenever they've seen some. I know that pulling it up will help ensure that future years won't have large accumulations, and that - compared to last year - there are areas that are now completely garlic-mustard free.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Took care of a snagged branch

On about May 10th, winds helped knock down a rotten branch of an ash tree up on one of the paths.


I was a bit leery about doing too much close-in work in the area, since there is a lot of poison ivy growing in the area, but it needed to be taken care of, so today I pulled it down, chopped it up, and pulled it out of the way. Now all we have to do is wait for the rest of the ash tree to fall. :P

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Grrr... Canada geese

I saw two Canada geese sitting on the little spit of (erosional) sand next to the row boats, and - "loving" the geese like I do - I was about to shoo them off the sand when I saw a little head poking up behind the roosting goose: there were at least two little goslings.


Okay, you geese, I'll let you stay for now. Just don't come up on the lawn and leave your massive white droppings everywhere.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Algae Sampling

Field season has begun. Today, I had some students picking up equipment and some others taking a phytoplankton sample.