New Pleasant View Farm Residents!

Welcome to the world!

My peers and I at Pleasant View Farm have been monitoring a robin and her nest for a couple of weeks. It is located on the back porch/fire escape stairwell on the eave of the roof, between two corner beams. The nest appeared there literally overnight and soon after three blue eggs followed, and just yesterday two of the eggs hatched! I tend to use the back stairs frequently, so I have stopped doing this to give the birds some space, since the mother robin always flies off whenever people get close to the stairs. Hopefully the babies will grow up and live long and healthy lives.

I did some research and learned (http://www.learner.org/jnorth/search/RobinNotes2.html) that of the robins that survive their first year, they usually live to about 5 or 6, with the oldest known at about 13 years.

June Rain and Muddy Trails

Yesterday I hiked up the Greeley Ponds Trail, off Route 112, to collect samples from Lower (see pond photo below) and Upper Greeley Pond. Overall it was a wet day, with plenty of river and stream crossings and muddy trails. So far this summer seems to be shaping up like last, with lots and lots of rain. According to the National Weather Service, this June was one of the rainiest on record, with the average rainfall in June being about 2.3 inches,with this month probably around 7 or 8 inches.

Along the trail there was this impressive gnarly red maple, which has some how managed to latch onto a large boulder in the middle of the trail (see below).

After Greeley I sampled Lily Pond right off the road, and then headed to Church Pond, which is near the Passaconaway Campground. The trail starts at the edge of the campground and immediately requires a river crossing. The river (the swift river?) was clearly bloated from all the recent rain, with a surprisingly strong current (see photo below). I crossed this and continued on the trail, and then crossed another smaller river. From here the trail remains very flat weaving through an open mixed hardwood-conifer forest, before eventually turning into a miring mess of a pathway through a bog. The path eventually became too soggy to follow, with firm terrain becoming more and more scarce (see photo of the wetland below). Since I was alone, and lacked the proper equipment to trek through muck up to my knee, for a distance I was not sure of, I chose to turn around and return on a drier day, better prepared for the bog conditions. I also sampled Falls Pond which is just up the hill from the scenic Rocky Gorge area on the Kancamagus.

Tail Slap

Last Friday a fellow REU student and I gathered water samples from Peaked Hill Pond in Thornton. While I was standing on the edge of the pond, preparing to collect my water sample, I was interrupted by a loud CRACK, I looked up and saw a big splash in the water across the pond. I was confused for a second, but then I realized what it was as I spotted the animal in the water. I was apparently intruding on a local beaver. The beaver was swimming in large circles, every few minutes slapping its flat-leathery tail on the water. I waited for at least 15 more minutes, hoping to get a photo of the tail slap, and just after I put my camera away, it did it again. It is a incredibly loud noise, it sounds like a very painful bellyflop.