Treleven in July

3 Jul

It was a distinctly dry spring until the middle of May, but since then nearly twenty inches—twenty inches!!—of rain has fallen, with challenging consequences. All of the sheep pastures are squishy wet, and it’s been impossible to put up any hay whatsoever. This part of New England seems to be stuck in a pattern of lousy weather that just won’t go away.

The only Treleven-sponsored event scheduled for last month—a day-long retreat at the pond and gazebos for directors of area child care centers—had to be relocated to a venue in town because the site here was simply too wet to use. On a brighter note, on the one day without rain we pulled off a baby shower for Anaïs and Noah in the midst of their relocation from Brooklyn to Vermont. Their baby was properly blessed in a New Age tradition, and he or she kicked appreciatively in response.

pond

Riparian corridor would better serve traveling wildlife by allowing more brush to regenerate

Don attended a three-day training session in the Northeast Kingdom—sponsored by an organization called Vermont Coverts—in order to learn how to better manage Treleven’s forests and fields so as to attract more wildlife. This seemed like a logical extension of the bat project, and it turns out that we’re already doing a lot of things well. One desideratum will be to broaden the area of regenerating forest that flanks the stream which drains the beaver swamp into the farm pond, since that tends to be a corridor in which wild animals travel—and with a bit greater width in that corridor, they’ll be able to do so with more confidence and safety. Another goal is to “soften the edges” where the pastures and meadows transition into forested land, by modifying when and where we cut hay along the edge of the woods.

brush

Brush piles in bat foraging zone provide habitat for wildlife

It was good to learn that the dozens of large brush piles we’ve been creating in the woods—as a consequence of the habitat work undertaken for endangered bats—are a definite aid to various forms of wildlife that use such piles for cover/protection and nesting places. Also, we’re starting to become more attuned to birdsong as we work in the woods. The general idea is that a robust and diverse population of wildlife—including songbirds—is a good indicator of overall forest health. And the presence of these fellow creatures certainly makes a walk in the woods more interesting.

We’re getting excited about showing off the bat zones in the forest to visitors every Saturday morning, beginning on August 3 and continuing through the fall foliage season…until Saturday, November 2. Please make of note of this and tell interested friends: anyone who comes to Don and Cheryl’s house at 10 a.m. on those Saturdays will get a 90-minute tour of the woods, including a hike up the back cliff to admire the spectacular views. For directions to the farm, click “DIRECTIONS” on the menu bar at the top of this page. Dress for the weather, and feel free to bring a light backpack filled with water, snacks, binoculars, camera, etc. If Don can’t be on hand on a particular Saturday to lead the tour and talk about Flying Blind—his book presenting the bat habitat project here and much, much else—someone else will be on hand to do so. Hope to see you there!

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