Site 2a & 2b: A Tamarak Tree and a Vernal Pool

Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood

The elfin from the green grass, and from me

The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree.

Edgar Allen Poe: Sonnet To Science

 

Site 2 represents two distinct areas were the lawn meets a thicket of brambles. Once, a large Tamarak Tree stood to the right of the trail marker. Today, we see the tree has since died, pulled down by multiple species of invasive vines that line the edge of the woods area. 

Step into the woods on the path to your left and you will see the land sloping gently down. Gathering in the dip in the land's topography, snow melt and springtime rain water fills a vernal pool during the wet months. Vernal pools are essential to the reproduction of amphibian and insect species. Vernal pools tend to be temporary, drying up when rainfall is scarce. As such, they cannot sustain any fish species. This makes for ideal habitat in which frogs, toads, salamanders, and insects (such as the pesky mosquitoes) will lay their eggs without fear that fish will feed upon them. In wet years, the pool is very active and students can catch tadpoles here. Spring peepers can be heard when the temperature warms. In dry years, local species must find someone else to lay their eggs. 

 

 

Land of Fires - Site 2a and 2b