Sunday, December 02, 2007

Weekend Duty

During the weekend, somebody needs to be here to keep open the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest. However, it is tough sitting at a desk for two days straight, especially when the weather is so pleasant. With pains in the neck, legs, back and posterior, we need to find some reason to get outside. The deciduous nature of the tree majority around the center gave us the excuse we sought.

The image shows our low, education boardwalk covered ankle-deep in leaves. School groups are done visiting until next spring, so technically the boardwalk didn't need to be cleared today. However, we needed move around, get the blood flowing, and warm up. It is warmer outside the building than inside our offices in the add-on portion of the original building, which is beyond the original HVAC equipment's efficient operating range. Armed with a broom, the fallen foliage quickly succumb to our assault. A Barred Owl (Strix varia) hooted its approval, though an Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) scolded us for sweeping large acorns into the deeper litter.

The acorns appeared to come from a nearby Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii), which is also known as a Cow Oak due to that mammal's fondness for the large, sweet acorns. However, squirrels are the main disperser of seeds, since they gather and stash more than they eat.

1 comment:

Daniel Bates said...

I feel your pain every beautiful weekend we've been enjoying too, because I'm usually in our real estate office. I was curious about what kind of acorns those were. I just picked up a bag of them for wreath making.

PS - I just love this blog, recently found it and haven't had a chance to go back and read all the old post. I think my grandfather, William Baldwin , played a hand in Francis Beidler Forests creation.