Category: Out in the Woods

The Carbon Cycle & The 6th Extinction

The Carbon Cycle At the beginning of the Archean Eon 4 billion years ago, life emerged upon Earth in a process called abiogenesis; ie., “origin of life”. Several evolutionary processes at the molecular level of increasing complexity formed various chemicals in the early ocean,…

The Monarch Chrysalis

“When the caterpillar is a full grown fifth instar caterpillar it is ready to molt the fifth time  to become a pupa, or chrysalis. The caterpillar will begin to wander until it finds an appropriate place to create its chrysalis. It will lay down a…

NEW ENGLAND STONE WALLS

In 1939, mining engineer Oliver Bowles estimated 259,000 miles of stone walls have been built in New England. Damage from theft, strip-mining for commercial sale, and demolition for housing construction has left about 100,000 miles, according to the Stone Wall Initiative, https://stonewall.uconn.edu/# (from which…

McKeon Reserve Trails Map

Trails Map

Wood Frogs

The duck-like barking sounds of the wood frog are usually the first to be heard by our singing amphibians, as they call out to their mates from their vernal pool breeding sites.   Wood frogs are found in all types of forests, preferring damp…

The Lady Slipper

Probably Maine’s best known orchid, these beauties make their home in many parts of The McKeon Reserve. Maine has four species of Lady Slippers; Pink, Yellow, Showy, and Ram’s Head. Two of these are rare in Maine: the Showy and the Ram’s Head. The…

States of Dormancy

Hibernation, torpor, diapause, aestivation, and brumation Dormancy refers to the state of reduced activity that many organisms enter when exposed, or anticipate exposure, to environmental stress. During the dormant phase, energy is conserved within the organism by reducing metabolic activities. Chemical changes may also…

Subnivean Zone

See those slithery, tunnel-like and bumpy shapes on top of the snow? You are witness to the creatures of…The Subnivean Zone! There are many ways that animals handle Winter’s cold. Some actually rely on the snow of winter for survival. Here’s how they do…

World Wetlands Day

Today February 2, is World Wetlands Day. Take a moment to reflect on the value of wetlands and how we can harness the natural power of this ecosystem to turn the tide on climate change.  Cleansed and enriched by the Red Maple-Sensitive Fern and…