A Rainy Walk in the Woods
It was drizzling last Saturday morning for our Naturalist Walk & Talk in Glen Providence Park, but that didn’t scare us off- and the soft lighting and the rain just seemed to add to the beauty of the woods! Raindrops glistened on branches, and there was moss so verdant it was almost luminous.
PA Master Naturalist Chris McNichol led the intrepid crew of 11 adults and 7 children on an engaging walk through the woods. The Sledding Hill’s majestic White Oak tree prompted Chris to tell us about the PA Big Tree register of Champion Trees of Pennsylvania. We will certainly look into whether any of the park’s trees qualify!
We started on the ever-lovely Mountain Laurel Trail, where our discoveries included native Spicebush and American Witch hazel, fungi, and signs of signs of last season’s comical Beech Blight Aphids. We admired the eponymous Mountain Laurel, which is elegant in any season! Chris pointed out the damage that White-tailed deer had caused to American Beech trees, and showed us the different shapes of oak leaves, comparing the pointed lobes of leaves in the Red Oak group to the rounded lobes of leaves in White Oak group.
We talked about the number of natural springs in Glen Providence Park, and the challenges in maintaining the man-made pond. We looked for the Common Muskrat that had been spotted just the day before swimming in the pod under the ice. While we did not see it, we may have found its tracks on the Shingle Mill Trail! There we also found the intriguing Skunk Cabbage in bloom.
Woodpecker holes, bark beetles, leaf pack studies, Smooth Alder, Osage Orange… there was so much to see and learn- we hope you’ll join us on our next walk!
Thank you to Chris McNichol for our wonderful morning, and to everyone who attended!
You can scroll through pictures from our walk below- hosted on our brand-new flickr page!