Glacier Pools Preserve

………………….Walking Paths for Eastern Lycoming County

June 3, 2015
by Michael
0 comments

Laurel Time

The Mountain Laurel is entering its peak bloom, and barring a windy rain should be at its peak early this weekend.  (Yes, I said that last year and it did not happen, but…) As of now the bushes are loaded with blossoms and the ones in sun are in bloom.  I’ll be checking daily and will post.  Easiest walk to the best ones is from The Throne into the Shortcut Trail, then at the intersection straight for some big ones and to the right for a panorama of white blossoms.

IMG_5617   IMG_5616

May 15, 2015
by Michael
0 comments

Now you see it; now you don’t

Our colony of ladyslipper orchids started blooming and will last through the weekend.  It is about 200 feet into the red (Shortcut) trail from the Throne, marked by a wooden sign.  Please don’t step into the woods to get closer.  It is all too easy to step on and crush these soft little plants.  There are a number near the trail on both sides for about 30 feet.  The second picture is a native azalea.  You won’t see many of these.  I rescued this one from a colony in the woods and planted it behind the house protected by a fence.  If you spot one (in bloom right now!) let me know where and I’ll put up a fence.  The woods with fewer deer would be full of small native shrubs, many of them flowering, all surviving below deer browse height.

IMG_5567

IMG_5571

May 9, 2015
by Michael
0 comments

Eggs and Flowers

The wood frog eggs hatched a week ago the the pools are full of tadpoles. They are dark in color and cluster where they seem to be happy, or maybe just warm and well-fed. The salamander egg masses are a little ragged and colored by algae, but it’s easy to see the developing larvae inside. They’ll hatch soon. I will post when I see it. The photo shows both frog tadpoles and salamander eggs. Flowers are coming too fast to count, or for me to identify. Today look for dogwood on the field edges, amalanchier just in the woods, fruits, and strawberries in many paths. The orchids are leaving up and will be out soon.  

IMG_5543

April 25, 2015
by Michael
0 comments

Trailing Arbutus

The arbutus is starting to bloom, the first of the spring flowers here. There is a small patch, easy to find, on the trail leading up to the “throne”. Look just to the left, opposite the white birch and aspen trees on the right. Look carefully; it is only an inch high. And please don’t pick any!
…next up, Amelanchier (Shadbush is the nickname, but none yet back to our section of the Susquehanna.)

DSCN1541

April 22, 2015
by Michael
0 comments

Salamander Heaven

So much for my resolution to make frequent blog entries. I’ll start now!

This was salamander spring for me. With a lot of coaching and guidance from amphibian biologist P.P. and watershed expert C.E. I nightly braved the frozen night snow way too early this cold spring then missed the magical first warm spring rain for a ski trip but still got to see a few swimming creatures after mating, lots of eggs, and a nice view of a beautiful departing adult spotted salamander (about 6″ long.)

IMG_5501

 

June 4, 2014
by Michael
1 Comment

Ladyslippers

The orchids are back in bloom, though not exactly where I thought they were. Check them out this weekend. Both sides of shortcut trail about 100 ft in from the throne. I put the little signs in the right place. And keep your eyes out for ripe wild strawberries soon.

20140603-210910-76150767.jpg

April 14, 2014
by Michael
0 comments

Frog and salamander eggs

The first eggs of the season have been deposited in our vernal pools.  I was hoping to see the mass salamander mating when the snow and ice melted, but it was just too cold and I was away.  The first two pictures are spotted salamander egg masses.  They are surrounded by jelly and are just below the surface of the water.  They are white or clear, and often turn green with algae.  The third are wood frog eggs, forming a floating mat on the surface of the water.  Please don’t collect them yourself.  They won’t survive.  I returned these.  And come back weekly to see what comes out when they hatch.
IMG_3789

IMG_3790

IMG_3785

February 13, 2014
by Michael
0 comments

Winter

My delayed New Years Resolution is to post more and organize more for Glacier Pools Preserve.  So here is a picture of the recently plowed (by me) parking area.   Come trudge, snowshoe, or even XC ski the fields and trails (but not snowmobile, please.)

It took three trips to PR Hardware to get the linkage right on my old Wheelhorse.  It has never plowed so well, and needed the extra ability for this heavy, deep snow.

Plowed parking