Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 2 storm

A severe straight line wind storm hit the area Sunday. The infrastructure, cabin, signs, boardwalks etc survived intact. Trails, however, have taken a hit. Snapped trees have closed the white and orange trails. 

On the orange trail near its entrance way towards the white trail. 

A large oak fell and now spans the new, outdoor classroom. Luckily the seats were undamaged. The tree will need to be carefully cut to preserve the seats. 

A large maple now crosses the pond, cutting it in half. 

 Many fir trees snapped in the area between the pond and gazebo. One of the preserve's most shaded areas has become one of its brightest. Expect some wildflowers to blossom in the next few years that might not flowered for years. 

Change has come again. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Cabin is Open

Starting this summer, the cabin will be open to all visitors on weekdays from 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM. Make sure to get to there by 9:30 for a fun activity (M/W/F) or guided nature tour (Tu/Th) with our naturalist Jalen Williams!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall color time

Take a walk through your preserve for autumn's peaking color. The paths are filling with the fall of colorful leaves and needles. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The outdoor bathroom

Gahagan Preserve has begun the construction of a combined restroom and outdoor clean-up station next to the cabin. 
The small building will provide a modern toilet for school classes and the public without tracking into the cabin. 
The adjoining large outdoor sink will allow classes and educators a place to clean field equipment. 
Funding for half the project comes from a private donation matched by Gahagan funds. 
Today the small area was cleared. Soon the building should be up. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Top gone!

Recently The preserve witnessed the beginning of the end of one of its largest trees. The big pine with the split top which resides near the Brookside entrance lost both it's tops. Lightening might have been the cause. Each top crashed through the forest toppling smaller trees and creating a small opening for new growth. 
Each year, Tom Dale would line up 1st graders, 3 at a time, to see if they could wrap the tree's base finger tip to finger tip. That gives you an idea of its girth. The base is still there - a good fifty feet high. Now without a green needle to support it, it will become home to insects, and then woodpeckers and others as it's final end. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bitter but Beautiful Winter

It's been a number of years since our Fahrenheit thermometers struggled to stay above zero. Old-timers say "it's like it use to be" and it certainly has been a number of years since we've seen anything like this. The weather gods forgot the January thaw. 
But with the proper attire and a pair of snowshoes, you can find a wonderful peaceful world in nature. Quiet, white - almost new. Take a trip through Gahagan preserve. The tracks in the snow tells you who lives there. The cedars near Tank Creek provide shelter for the residents. The spring remains open despite days of temps well below freezing. It shows the energy stored in our earth just feet below our frozen feet. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Season's first ice

The Gahagan blog has been quiet lately and ready to start up again. 
The last couple nights have been cold and the pond, refreshed from large amounts of fall moisture, has a skim of ice on top. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Another Day in the River

While large numbers of volunteers cleaned the upper AuSable River of bottles, trash carelessly left behind from a summer of use, Gahagan Preserve members did their September data collection of macro invertebrates today. The species and quantity collected provide a measure of the water quality. 
We now have a number of years of data giving a baseline. A negative change in the future can alert us of possible new pollution sources in the watershed. 
Sue Huffman and Tom Dale pick bugs from logs. 
Diane Lippert uses a net find bugs from the river bottom. 
Tracy Bosworth picks the invertebrates from the collected samples. In the coming weeks, the species will be identified under the microscopes at Kirtland College labs. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wildfire at Gahagan

A small wildfire spread from the adjacent village/township recycle center onto a portion of the Gahagan Preserve.
The major lasting effect will be the scar from the plowline made to prevent further advance of the fire. The fire crossed the White trail which will be temporarily impassable because of fallen trees and the plowline.

Marsh Marigolds in full bloom

This year's exceptional marsh marigold "crop" is In full bloom in the wetlands near the gazebo.