Maple Syrup Season Over; Vernal Pools Beginning Life

by Tig Tillinghast

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies‘ Steve Faccio, along with the Upper Valley Land Trust’s Amber Boland helped organize a pretty amazing vernal pool walk at our Strafford bush right after the maple syrup season. A crowd of 40 or so people trekked over the maple and not-so-maply bits of the 212 acres, visiting several vernal pools and the big beaver wetland complex.
maple_syrup_vernal_walk

Amber and Steve came the day before to do a pre-walk examination, making sure the walkers get the most bang for their time. They salted some salamander traps in various places.
maple_syrup_steve_faccio
We’re pretty lucky to have the Vermont Center for Ecostudies right here in the Upper Valley. They’re a group of scientists in Norwich, VT doing hard ecosystem research, but they also make time to help locals learn about the habitats and critters.
maple_syrup_vernal_pool
Steve found us a good number of interesting things to see, including a couple different types of salamander, a bevy of egg masses for various amphibians and innumerable insects with odd behaviors and feeding strategies. I’ll include some pictures below, but you really had to listen to Steve to see the narrative unfold of how these things work and relate to one another. Visit the VCE blog for interesting stuff and future events.

Two Lined Salamanders

Two Lined Salamanders


Robin in "broken wing" display

Robin in broken wing display


Caddis Flies Feast on Egg Mass

Caddis Flies Feast on Egg Mass


Beaver Art

Beaver Art


Beaver Logging Accident Scene

Beaver Logging Accident Scene


Passing the Bucket

Passing the Bucket