Saturday, April 3, 2010

Boring Nature

I went to a nature preserve earlier today. I don't want to say which one because it's pretty close to my home. Calling this place a nature preserve though is a serious stretch of the word, but they get points for being a forest. It's fairly big, it would take about 3 hours to casually walk every trail. For the whole trip though there is a total of 5 signs to point things out. That's it. Post cards have more information. 

Sign One: This is Skunk Cabbage. And it should have said this is the ONLY forb that grows in the forest. 

Sign Two: This is a Bubble Spring. It was a spring of swamp with bubbles slowly trickling up. Sadly this was among the best this place had to offer.

Sign Three: This is a Flood Plane. Yes they have a sign about a plant-less beach next to a stream. Why they need a sign for that is just... wow.

Sign Four: This is a Frog Pond. A stream with frogs living in it, do go on. I didn't see any frogs here but they were present at a bridge later in the trail.

Sign Five: This is a High Land Sand Forest, Trees like Chestnut, Oak, and Maple are the dominant trees here. Low Bush Blueberry and Mountain Laurel are the dominant understood tree. This was the only sign that I liked. It's a shame I had to walk 3 hours to come across it.

No wonder people are losing tough with nature. Not that this place had much going for it but each species of tree should have it's own sign with pictures of leaves and flowers with it. They should be scattered along the trail. More then Skunk Cabbage should be growing in the under story. It was only growing by the stream anyhow. There were no mentions of the Clethra alnifolia, and what I'm sure was native Rhododendron growing everywhere. Note worthy animal activity should also be mentioned. The area used to be known for the skink migration. If they manage it a little better by including a few more patches of native plants this place could even start tours with guided instructors.

I'll be going back to this place later this year, but I'm not expecting much. Maybe they just don't have a lot of Forbs... but forest perennials are mostly active in the spring. The places ides of a prairie (which would be more active in the summer) is a community soccer field.