Sights of the fall season are everywhere now. The water lilies in Lake Odonata are beginning to disappear as the pond undergoes a seasonal phenomenon known as fall turnover. During the cold night the water at the surface of the pond cools, becomes more dense and sinks to the bottom of the pond. At the same time warmer water at depth rises to take the place of the cold sinking water. During this convection the pond is stirred (not shaken) and decaying material like the water lilies “disappear” as pond nutrients are redistributed. Read More
Out in front of the nature center the leaves of the Catalpa tree are being ravaged by a different plant eating insect. As you can see in the picture above, the leaves has been chewed down to their veins.
The culprit… the Catalpa Sphinx moth caterpillar, Ceratomia catalpae.
A walk through the woods at this time of years reveals dappled sunlight and splashes of crimson red.
The bright red berries are those of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin). Spicebush is a common native understory shrub and this was a very good year for blossoms in the spring and the abundant crop of seeds that have now turned from green to red. The berries are a valuable wildlife food.
It is also the season for other things……WASPS!
This week we began having school groups again, so most of our time was spend in preparation for providing those educational programs. We have schools scheduling through October 28, so needless to say that will consume much of our time and energy! The kids so far have been great and excited about learning about the natural world and what Wahkeena has to offer.
We also just completed the first stage of bank repairs that were necessitated by the largest North American rodent- Mr. Beaver. After truck lots of fill dirt and rip rap ( large rocks), the damaged bank area has now been restored. Futures plans include armoring other bank areas including the entire length of the dam to discourage future intrusions by the beavers.