On the weekend I came across the biggest tree I've measured so far. It is an Eastern Cottonwood, but instead of its normal open habitat setting, this one was in one of the deeper parts of the Rondeau forest.
|Big Syc in 1908|
Oak trees grow much more slowly than cottonwoods do. I was pleased to find this large Red Oak, measuring 123 cm dbh. Right close by and in the background of this next photo is a White Oak, which is just shy of a metre dbh. The Red Oak shows a decided lean, a typical characteristic of an old growth tree. Undoubtedly both of these oaks, even though they are smaller than the big cottonwood, are considerably older.
It was a rather warm day, the kind where it makes one think of a tasty ice-cream treat, which made me think of the caption for this next photo.
|Eastern Garter Snake|
The sunny warm conditions encouraged amphibians to get busy. There were lots of Wood Frogs vocalizing throughout the sloughs, along with a few Spring Peepers. A single American Toad was noted dead on the road.
The land birds were not of a great diversity, but I did see things such as Eastern Phoebe, lots of Tree Swallow, Northern Flickers, etc. There were still lots of waterfowl on the lake, but well out from shore since the wind speed and direction made it popular for wind sailors/surfers.
In the quieter areas of the old canal that goes along the trail, I found a lot of Painted Turtles.....about 46 in all. I'm sure they were trying to play catch up on getting their internal physiology going, now that at least for the short term, the weather is warming up.
I didn't see any Yellow-headed Blackbirds.....they may be out there but the wind might have kept them lower.
At the northeast corner of the waterfront parking lot was this quite large Eastern Cottonwood. It is open grown on a very good site. It measured 143 cm dbh.