Category: Out in the Woods

The Natural History of Deering Pond

by Introduction        I first saw the pond in the company of students John Holzapfel and Sidney Korn on a cold January morning in 1966. It was an impressive introduction for the ice was groaning. Strain cracks were streaking across the ice…

A Short History of Deering Pond

Various glacial actions carved a basin into ancient bedrock. About 14,000 years ago, meltwater from the last retreating glacier lined this basin with “rock flour”, a fine-grained silt made from the glaciers grinding away at the bedrock and suspended in the runoff. As the…

Shifting Baseline Syndrome

Baby Boomers, Gen-X’ers, Millennials, Gen-Z’ers are terms describing generational groups. Boomers frequently heard the singing of the whip-o-will, enjoyed streets lined with elm trees, and catching brookies in local streams. Gen-X’ers witnessed Dutch Elm devastate their streets; few Millennials are found who’ve heard the…

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…