Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Vernal Pools and Trail Maintenance

Well, I must not be using whatever program it is that isn't working because this page came right up.  So guess I'll just post a few photos of yesterday.

I spent most of the day mowing.  I use a John Deere zero turn riding mower...  the same one I've used since our first year here.  Kirk had told me that they'd be getting a new one, but we all know how the gov't agencies work...  it either hasn't been ordered yet or is on back order.  Doesn't make any difference to me...  at least I won't be getting scratches and scrapes on a brand-new piece of equipment.

As I was heading up the Loring Trail I saw something way ahead of me.  I'd seen a man walking along the road and at first thought he'd cut across the connector trail and was on the path.  Then I realized that whatever I was seeing was way too big to be a person.  I don't carry my "big" camera on the mower...  just a little pocket Canon.  This is the best shot I could get of the moose I was seeing.  She walked along the trail a few hundred feet then headed back into the woods.  This trail is the old railroad bed...  it still has rocks and gravel left over from those days, but is level, and now is quite grassy.  There are a couple of trails that connect to this one and I got them all mowed and they look to be in good condition.

The most used trail is the Don Lima Trail that is an easy 1.2 mile loop around the visitor center.  There are 5 interpretational kiosks along the way, describing the various types of habitats.
We sure don't have any Tidal Pools up here (they do have them down at Moosehorn NWR, where our headquarters are, about 200 miles south)...  but we do have Vernal Pools.  These are wet areas that are vital to some kinds of critters...  like salamanders or newts.

There are quite a few here in the refuge.  So many that a student at University of Maine at Presque Isle is completing her Master's degree doing a study of the pools.  This is one of the ones she uses in her study.

And another one....
This is her second year to work on this project.  I don't know what all data she collects or what comparisons she makes.  I do know that Vernal Pools dry up as the summer goes on.

I got done mowing around 3:30 yesterday...  that gave me plenty of time to wash the mower and clean it up.  I still have Chapman Pond area to mow...  maybe today.

That's All For Today!


  1. I always enjoy mowing grass on a good riding mower, fun to drive and enjoy the sites and solitude.

  2. When I first saw that moose photo, I thought it was a bear coming along the trail - color me gone...

  3. Seems like you usually see female and young moose. How often do you see the big males?

  4. I thought it was a bear too. My eyes are about as bad as a bear's eyes.

  5. I assumed it was a bear also. isn't it typical not to have the right camera at the right moment! .Do Vernon pools have springs in the centre. We have some pools in our area that are formed from springs coming out in land dips.

  6. I thought that was a bear, too. Not good to challenge either one, even with a riding mower.
    We have vernal pools along the township roads, in the woods. I like to see them come and go, and the season changes. We have one at the end of Truxell Road that seems to be under observation. A car of people about once a week.

  7. As always, great pictures and great narrative.