stormyheart: (bunneh!)
As I mentioned in my last entry, last Thursday I participated in a volunteer survey of vernal pools in the Paint Branch area of Montgomery County, MD. The reason for the surveys is sad - there is a road going up in this area, and I guess they're just making sure there's nothing endangered or whatever. My co-worker Jeff had set up a few afternoons to go out surveying after work...this was the first I was able to make it out for, and I went with Jeff, Susan, and Corinne.

For the non-biologists, a vernal pool is a temporary body of water that usually occurs in the spring with all the rain. Since they're temporary, there's no fish to eat amphibian eggs, so they're really important for frog and salamander breeding. In the MidAtlantic region, they're often found in wooded areas. More at wikipedia.

These were some pretty healthy woods, so there was lots of plant diversity, especially wildflowers coming up on the forest floor. Oh, there were some invasives too - lots of Japanese stiltgrass, and some garlic mustard - but not too bad. We saw some ferns around the vernal pools that were really neat - you don't often see ferns in the wild around here:

P5010245

more wildlife shiny below the cut )

A few more pics can be found on my Flickr account: http://flickr.com/photos/diosa699/sets/72157604943399689/. I'll probably go out on one or two more survey outings, so keep an eye out for additional photos!
stormyheart: (Default)
Interesting...many conservationists think nothing of killing a full infestation of invasive plants to prevent them from taking over an ecosystem, but killing squirrels? Nooooo...that would be "carnage" (Although grey squirrels are native to the US, in the UK they are not native and very invasive, and carry a disease that's deadly to their native red squirrels). Although I can understand the desire to protect animals, I find this kind of stance rather hypocritical.

Grey squirrel cull bounties urged
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/5069276.stm

And the article that lead me there:

Red squirrel dies of deadly pox
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/5069276.stm

Thoughts?
stormyheart: (bunneh!)


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