A spring expedition
of the Bishops Mills Natural History Centre
Contact us by phone at (613)258-3107
North Grenville Citizens for Responsible Development
1 April 2007: field notes of Frederick W. Schueler and Aleta Karstad
1) (Bishops Mills Store) TIME: 1241. AIR TEMP: 12.5, overcast, Beaufort light air. ROUTE: Co Road 18, Somerville Road, Highway 43, return. OBSERVER: Frederick W. Schueler, Aleta Karstad Schueler. rentalog, departure. CReD, drive. to Kemptville to scout 'development' site. A trace of rain falling.
moved 18.4 km NNE.
2) North Grenville: SW Highway 43/416. 31G/4, UTM 18TVE 502.1 863.2 45.03061N 75.63168W. TIME: 1308-1453. AIR TEMP: 16, overcast, Beaufort light air, trace of rain. HABITAT: swampy low woods/sandy-bedrock Thuja woods & clearings. OBSERVER: Frederick W. Schueler, Aleta Karstad Schueler, CReD party. 2007/029/-, visit (event). conservation, walk. WAYPT/024, visit to proposed Wal-Mart site. An outing of the North Grenville Citizens for Responsible Development, visiting the site where a Wal-Mart and (another!) Highway 43 strip mall is "planned" SW of Highway 43 and Highway 416, northeast of Kemptville. We had a pleasant walk down avenues of wood-chipped devastation through lovely Cedar and mixed woods, vernal wetlands, and sandy barrens.
The temperatures cited seem high, but that's what the thermometer read, both at the beginning and end of the foray. Rain was never really more than a trace, but it also was more-or-less continuous. TIME is generally given just as the start time for the visit to a station.
There's Phragmites (Reed) north of Highway 43 in the area cleared a couple of years ago, but none here on the S side of Highway 43.
Freshly chipped forest3) Highway 43, 0.5 km WNW Highway 416. UTM 18TVE 502.1 863.2 45.03061N 75.63168W. TIME: 1309. AIR TEMP: 16, overcast, Beaufort light air, trace of rain. HABITAT: Typha angustifolia/grass/dead Ash marsh, in Thuja/Abies/Picea/Fraxinus woods. 2007/029/h, visit (event). heard. No frogs calling, but lots of ice among the grass.
moved 0.1 km W.
4) 0.6 km WNW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 501.1 863.4 45.03072N 75.63298W. TIME: 1316. HABITAT: gravel track into thinned Thuja/Abies/Picea glauca/Fraxinus/Aspen woods. 2007/029/i, Picea glauca (White Spruce) (Plant). codominant seen. WAYPT/025, the tallest trees, ground dense with cones. Here at the highway there's a culvert and flowing roadside ditch. There are big Rhamnus frangula (Shining (Frangulous) Buckthorn) shrubs along the gravel track into the woods, and lots of freshly cut and older cut wood on the ground.
moved 0.1 km SSE.
5) 0.5 km W Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 501.6 862.5 45.02990N 75.63230W. TIME: 1323. HABITAT: open sand/grass knoll in low Thuja/mixed woods. 2007/029/ja, Odocoileus virginianus (Whitetail Deer) (Mammal). common scat, seen. WAYPT/026, many clusters of droppings, both old & fresh. There were also a fair number of Lagomorph droppings, which were probably (from the habitat) Lepus americanus (Snowshoe Hare), but which we couldn't identify to species.
6) (same location) TIME: 1323. 2007/029/jb, Mammalia (Mammal). 2 scat, specimen. mysterious joined fibrous droppings. These were originally two separate strings of 'pellets' but they broke up in the bag on the way home.
7) (same location) TIME: 1323. 2007/029/jc, Lycopodium lucidulum (Shining Clubmoss) (Plant). 1 herb, in bloom, specimen. single plant at SW corner of clearing shedding spores. This clearing is surrounded by Thuja, with an old moss-grown fire site and one tree of Betula papyrifera (Paper Birch) in the open. There were Equisetum scirpoides (Dwarf Scouring-rush) in the low grass near this plant.
moved 0.0 km SW.
8) 0.5 km W Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 501.4 862.2 45.02967N 75.63260W. TIME: 1325-1330. HABITAT: intersection of 2 newly cleared tracks through Thuja woods. 2007/030/a, visit (event). natural history, walk. WAYPT/029, One track goes W, we followed the other S. These were created since Aleta was here on 10 March. The one heading W has a soil surface, but the one heading S is about 20-30 cm deep in broken and chipped wood.
moved 0.1 km SE.
9) 0.5 km W Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 501.8 861.9 45.02936N 75.63204W. TIME: 1332. AIR TEMP: 16, overcast, Beaufort light air, light rain. HABITAT: shallow stream@newly cleared tracks through Thuja woods. 2007/030/b, visit (event). wade. WAYPT/030, there's no flow evident in the water, so this may not really be a stream.
moved 0.1 km SE.
10) 0.5 km W Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 502.2 861.5 45.02906N 75.63156W. TIME: 1337. AIR TEMP: 16, overcast, Beaufort light air, trace of rain. HABITAT: ca 30 x 40 m pond surrounded by Fraxinus & Fraxinus-dominated woods. 2007/030/c, visit(event). natural history, walk. WAYPT/031, pond 75% ice covered. This should be checked for Amphibian breeding.
Wood chips in a vernal pool near the pond
Road-building along the Salamander pond
moved 0.1 km SE.
11) 0.4 km WSW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 502.7 860.9 45.02849N 75.63092W. TIME: 1343. HABITAT: Thuja woods with grassy ground cover & limestone bedrock outcrops. 2007/030/da, Odocoileus virginianus (Whitetail Deer) (Mammal). abundant adult, scat, seen. WAYPT/032, many pellets clusters, low Thuja heavily browsed. This is a ridge where the new track comes up onto a plateau. There's a double-trunked Prunus serotina (Black Cherry) and a double-trunked Quercus macrocarpa (Bur Oak) (marked 10023 on a blaze) each about 20-25 cm DBH on either side of the new track.
One of many large mossy rocks among the Cedars
12) (same location) TIME: 1343. 2007/030/db, lichen. present thallus, specimen, photo. sample flaked off old Thuja stump. This is the "oldest"-looking lichen around here.
Old Cedar stump with lichens
13) (same location) TIME: 1343. 2007/030/dc, cf Canis latrans (Coyote) (Mammal) 1 adult, scat, seen. stout hair-filled greyish droppings.
Coyote droppings with Snowshoe Hare fur
moved 0.0 km SSE.
14) 0.4 km WSW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 502.8 860.5 45.02819N 75.63077W. TIME: 1353. HABITAT: Paper Birch edge of Red Pine plantation. 2007/030/e, Pinus resinosa (Red Pine) (Plant). dominant tree, seen. WAYPT/033, NE corner of small plantation, ca 25 cm DBH trees. There's an old track that runs around the plantation. Everything here is heavily browsed by Odocoileus, including the recently hacked-off Betula papyrifera (Paper Birch) and Thuja.
moved 0.0 km ESE.
15) 0.4 km WSW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 503.2 860.5 45.02811N 75.63031W. TIME: 1355-1405. HABITAT: dense upland Thuja woods. 2007/030/f, Odocoileus virginianus (Whitetail Deer) (Mammal). abundant adult, scat, tracks, photo. WAYPT/034, 10 pellet clusters in a 2.5 x 2.5 m area. Deer trails criss-cross the whole woods. AKS photographed an old road/track, running parallel to the devastation road, completely unused except by Deer and arched over by Cedars.
deer paths in the Cedar forest
Cedar upland forest with closed canopy with Cedar litter on black organic soil. 50-100 cm karst-like boulders all around with Moss and lichens. Trees look 20-30 years old; 5-10% are bent over by the ice storm or snow.
Abundant material evidence that this is a deer yard
moved 0.1 km NNE.
16) 0.3 km WSW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 503.6 861.2 45.02879N 75.62982W. TIME: 1405. HABITAT: Thuja/small Fraxinus area of small vernal pools, mostly iced over. OBSERVER: Frederick W. Schueler. 2007/031/aa, Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard) (Bird). 2 pair, seen, heard. WAYPT/035, flew up & circled.
17) (same location) TIME: 1405. 2007/031/ab, Odocoileus virginianus (Whitetail Deer) (Mammal). abundant adult, bone, scat, seen, tracks. many pellet clusters, heavy browse, tracks, old skeleton. I came here through an old clearing. Everything is browsed down.
18) (same location) TIME: 1405. 2007/031/ac, lichen. 1 thallus, specimen. on moss at edge of vernal pool. The ground cover, here at the western edge of the area of pools, is heavily browsed, but with Onoclea and some other nonevergreen ferns. The trees here include at least some Fraxinus nigra (Black Ash). some of the trees have quite a bit of lichen, including bright yellow-green and a grey Parmelia (s. l. ) and other trunks bear a fair bit of Moss.
moved 0.1 km SSE.
19) 0.4 km SW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 503.8 859.9 45.02759N 75.62945W. TIME: 1416-1420. HABITAT: open fine-sandy barrens, former sand pit. OBSERVER: Frederick W. Schueler, Aleta Karstad Schueler. 2007/031/ba, Betula cf populifolia (Gray Birch) (Plant). 2 tree, seen. WAYPT/036, trees flanking old sand loading wall. These two trees on either side of an old wall of railway ties, are the first Birches we've seen that look like Betula populifolia (Gray Birch) -- all those around the periphery of the clearing are Betula papyrifera (Paper Birch). but we'll have to wait until leaf-out (if they survive) to be sure of their identity.
Delicate sandy habitat
20) (same location) TIME: 1416-1420. 2007/031/bb, Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine) (Plant). 2 tree, prey of predator, seen, photo. 15 cm DBH tree by old loading wall & few browsed saplings. This open area is heavily tracked by Deer, and the few saplings are all browsed down, exemplified by the one photographed.
More Deer browse sign, young Scots Pine
21) (same location) TIME: 1416-1420. 2007/031/bc, Equisetum hyemale (Common Scouring-rush) (Plant). 1 herb, seen. small plant below old sand loading wall. There's also Equisetum scirpoides (Dwarf Scouring-rush) in the sand above the wall (which is about 90 cm high).
moved 0.1 km WNW.
22) 0.4 km WSW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 502.8 860.5 45.02819N 75.63077W. TIME: 1427. HABITAT: Paper Birch edge of Red Pine plantation. 2007/031/c, visit (event). walk natural history, seen, photo. came here from sandy area along track beside plantation. AKS photo of large amounts of coarse woody debris in the plantation.
Red Pine Plantation
moved 0.1 km WSW.
23) 0.5 km WSW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 501.7 860.1 45.02774N 75.63212W. TIME: 1430. HABITAT: 6 m Bracken/grass clearing in dense heavily-browsed Thuja woods. 2007/031/da, Lycopodium complanatum (Running-pine Clubmoss) (Plant). 2 herb, specimen. WAYPT/037, 1 x 2 m patch in 6 m clearing, another nearby.
Perennial forest floor vegetation, the Clubmoss, Lycopodium complanatum
24) (same location) TIME: 1430. 2007/031/db, Rhamnus frangula (Shining (Frangulous) Buckthorn) (Plant). codominant shrub, prey of predator, seen, photo. many shrubs along track heavily browsed by Deer.
moved 0.1 km W.
25) 0.6 km WSW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 500.6 860 45.02772N 75.63355W. TIME: 1434. HABITAT: fine-sand former auto wrecker field. 2007/031/e, Melospiza melodia (Song Sparrow) (Bird). 1 call, heard. WAYPT/038, singing, the first we've heard this year. The sand here is barren, and admixed with bits of broken auto glass and other bits of cars.
From here we came out to County Road (?) 19, and headed N towards the Canadian Tire Store.
moved 0.1 km WNW.
26) W of Road 19, 0.7 km WSW Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 499.6 860.4 45.02808N 75.63481W. TIME: 1439. HABITAT: roadside Typha/Ash/Cornus/grass swamp & pond. 2007/031/f, visit (event). seen. WAYPT/039, site looks plausible for Chorus Frogs. This pond has islands of Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive Fern), but is about 75% open water. There's also similar swamp, but with less open water, on the W side of the road.
moved 0.1 km NNW.
27) 0.7 km W Highway 43/416. UTM 18TVE 499.4 861.1 45.02866N 75.63507W. TIME: 1443. HABITAT: coarse gravel & sand gas pipeline between open sandy field & Ash swamp. 2007/031/g, Marmota monax (Woodchuck) (Mammal). 1 adult, seen. WAYPT/040, ran into burrow. This must be North Grenville's Urban Groundhog Sanctuary: we saw 9 more burrows in the gravel and sand of this gasline berm in walking N to Highway 43.
moved 0.3 km NE.
28) Highway 43, 0.5 km WNW Highway 416. UTM 18TVE 502.1 863.2 45.03061N 75.63168W. TIME: 1453. AIR TEMP: 16, overcast, Beaufort light air, trace of rain. HABITAT: Typha angustifolia/grass/dead Ash marsh, in Thuja/Abies/Picea/Fraxinus woods. 2007/031/h, arrival (event). walk. return to parked car.
Further evidence of yarding - intense browsing of young conifers