Fall 2013 Photojournal
Fall is such a beautiful season in Glen Providence Park, and after record rainfall in summer 2013, last autumn was relatively free of extreme weather. I had less time than usual for photo walks in the park, ironically due to taking a 10-week Pennsylvania Master Naturalist course. But we continued to document the park’s plants and animals to create a record that we can refer back to for future comparison, and the walks I did take were usually rewarded with interesting sightings.
There were flurries of fall migration in late September and early October, including some additions to our Park Bird List – bringing us to 103 species by the end of November! Sightings included Magnolia Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo ( species #102), Northern Parula, and Chestnut-sided Warbler (#103!) – as always, thank you to Al Guarente of the Birding Club of Delaware County for confirming our new ID’s.
Some of the smallest discoveries are the most enchanting, including what we called a “star-bellied” fungi, an elegantly fuzzy caterpillar on a native blackberry leaf, and adorable baby Wood Frogs. These aptly named forest-dwelling frogs breed in vernal pools (ephemeral wetlands) – we saw several baby Wood Frogs last October.
That Pennsylvania Master Naturalist course helped me ID species in the park, such as the native and enigmatically-named Hog Peanut vine, Amphicarpaea bracteata. At one of the classes, Rose Tree Park Hawkwatch’s Holly Merker taught us that the Red-tailed Hawk’s “scream” is often used with video footage of Bald Eagles, because its scream is more intimidating than the eagle’s. You can frequently hear the Red-tailed Hawk in the park, as it is our most common hawk species!
Fall brings school classes that use Glen Providence Park as an outdoor classroom. In October, we encountered Penncrest High School 9th grade Environmental Science students conducting their annual pond studies in the park. In November, we helped Media Providence Friends School 5th graders install educational plant tags they had created for our National Public Lands Day plantings. The students were enthusiastic and had fun – what a wonderful service learning project!
In November we had a treat walking through the park with Clifford Butler Lewis, the grandson of park founders George and Eleanor Butler! It was wonderful to hear his recollections from growing up here. We photographed Cliff by the (now dry) Eleanor Reed Butler waterfall, which was one of the park’s original structures, and was later renovated in 1949 in honor of Cliff’s grandmother. It was Eleanor Butler who specified that Glen Providence Park was to be preserved as a Bird Sanctuary and Arboretum!
You can click on any photo below for a closer look, and scroll through them all – and you can also view them on our flickr page! There are more pictures in our facebook albums, and in our Fall 1.1 Acre Project photos. You can compare our 2013 autumn to other years in my photojournals for September, October and November 2011, and from Fall 2012.