This was an office week, but we also focused in on our "small team projects" (STP's). STP field time provided our eyes and backs some much needed respite after hours spent hunched-over squinting at computer screens. Several interns also took a break from their usual work to show a class of k-12 science teachers how to use GPS. Above, Arthur takes a waypoint.
The Lake Champlain Land Trust (LCLT) team got intimate with Colchester's voracious insect population down at the Porter Natural Area. The Porter Natural Area is near the Colchester Bog and the delta of the Winooski River. There they are doing a rapid assessment that looks at a lot of different aspects. Non-native invasive species, native plant communities, and mapping the extent of beaver activity (above, beaver-girdled tree) are all part of the project which they are accomplishing all while trying not to sink waist-deep in "puddles".
The Jericho Underhill Land Trust (JULT) team got to explore the Gateway property, which is adjacent to the Wolf Run Natural Area in Bolton. They also had the unique honor of meeting with local tracker/naturalist-extraordinaire Susan Morse of Keeping Track (among other various projects and titles) to discuss a wildlife and timber inventory she conducted at the property. There they are mapping historically significant finds (old homesteads, stonewalls), trails and old skid roads, as well as vernal pools and seeps. They have also done a small amount of wetlands delineation on the southern half of the property. Above, Tim hard at work.
Last but not least, the team working with the Nature Conservancy (TNC) at Charlotte Nature Park and Wildlife Refuge walked and bush-whacked through honeysuckle/buckthorn hedges in the endless quest for insight and wisdom concerning--but not limited to--non-native invasive plant species. Initially a daunting NNIS project, the group explored the extent of the property and was pleasantly surprised to see Brown Thrashers, Eastern Towhees, and Red Fox sign. We also had the opportunity to chat with Mark Labarr, who works with Green Mountain Audubon, about some of the shrubland bird work he has done there in the past (and hopes to continue in the future). Above, a view of Lake Champlain at the property.
Finally, the team was hard at work wrapping up projects with GMNF and South Burlington.