Arquivos de periódicos de janeiro de 2021

12 de janeiro de 2021

Observation Highlight of the Week: Kalmia latifolia

Observational Highlight #6: Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve



© Jacob Saucier, all rights reserved


Happy New Year all!

December flew by a bit more expeditiously than I was expecting, so I will be covering the remaining EZ-2-ID plants of December in this new year :)

To start off 2021 we will be diving into one of my favorite plants of the Appalachians - the mountain laurel! It may be better known by you botanist types as Kalmia latifolia , and is a close relative of our last observational highlight, the spotted wintergreen.

Now before we jump into that relationship, let's thank iNat user and friend of the preserve @saucierj for his amazing observations of our flowering mountain laurel from last summer. This project is driven by all those curious individuals utilizing the iNaturalist application to learn more about the world around them, or those just wanting to share the extraordinary beauty that can be found along one's journey through the woods. Every observation uploaded from the preserve allows us to better understand the biodiversity that is contained within this unique ecosystem, and what organisms you all find to be interesting enough to photograph.

But now let's dig into this amazing plant.

The mountain laurel is one of my favorite species on the preserve and also one of its most recognizable! This broadleaf evergreen species is closely related to last week's observational highlight, being within the family Ericaceae. However, it might be more familiar to gardeners as a member of the genus Rhododendron . While the mountain laurel isn't displaying its beautiful floral display at this time of year, the acute, entire waxy leaves are very distinct among the relatively whimsical oak and beech leaves of the preserve's south section trails.

For those unfamiliar with leaf identification, the woody stem of the plant can offer a quick giveaway. The twisting shape and flaky bark tend to stick out among the tree seedlings and bramble that also occupies the understory. While you may encounter a stray mountain laurel in certain areas of the preserve, the plant is usually "shoulder to shoulder" with its fellow laurel. These groups of laurel can be hard to miss among the dreary browns and greys of winter.


ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup Events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group

Publicado em 12 de janeiro de 2021, 10:28 TARDE por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

29 de janeiro de 2021

Observation Highlight of the Week: Pinus pungens

Observational Highlight #7: Pinus pungens (Table Mountain Pine)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve



© Michael J. W. Carr, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)


Hello again everyone!

This week's observational highlight is a shameless, self-observation from yours truly, @mjwcarr.

While many of us may have difficulty in confidently identifying members of the genus Pinus, it is reasonable considering the diversity of species found within the D. C. Metropolitan area. These pines include many commercially managed species, such as loblolly, shortleaf, white, and Virginia pine, in addition to several other local species like the black, pitch, and, of course, the table mountain pine. This rich diversity provides those visiting the preserve an approachable opportunity to develop tree identification skills, even during the winter!

Those visiting our public southern trails can find easily accessible examples of loblolly pines along the roadside near the parking lot!

The Table Mountain pine, highlighted here, is an extraordinary species of Pinus that occurs at high elevation habitats typically associated with the Shenandoah Mountains. The Bull Run Mountains share a similar plant community type to the ridges of the Shenandoah given that it stands as the easternmost front of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Given the approximately 20-mile gap between the Bull Run and Blue Ridge, the table mountain pines at Bull Run have been isolated for long enough to represent their own distinct population!

But how do we identify it?

Well, that's a good question! For many of us amateur naturalists, we know some of the most helpful units for identification are the needles and cones. For table mountain and Virginia pines, needles grow in groups of two. This is helpful for ruling out white (whose needles grow in groups of 5) and Loblolly (which grow in groups of 3), both are common pines in Virginia. For more specific identification, table mountain pine needles are considerably more robust and slightly short than Virginia pine. The profile of the table mountain pine is also significantly more robust. Finally, the cones of the table mountain pine are numerous in their clumping, sometimes contain 4 or more cones grouped closely together.

Interested in hearing more? Click here to learn from Virginia Tech Dendrology!


ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup Events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group

Publicado em 29 de janeiro de 2021, 09:00 TARDE por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

30 de janeiro de 2021

The Preserve at Bull Run's 2020 iNat Year in Review

Annual Update #1: 2020 in review
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve


Sceloporus undulatus (Eastern Fence Lizard) Observed: Jun 27, 2020
© Michael J. W. Carr, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)


Introduction

Hello everyone,

Despite the many tragedies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found solace and enrichment in the embrace of the outdoors. This was particularly true for the preserve during the initial days of the pandemic prior to public closure to prevent potentially unneeded transmissions of the virus, and following our reopening with the addition of COVID-19 safety measures and distancing requirements. We are happy that the preserve's wonderous natural space can provide opportunities for visitors, especially those in the more urban heart of Northern Virginia, to experience enriching outdoor experiences.

In reviewing the nearly 4,000 observations made within The Preserve, over 80% were from 2020! This amounts to 3,141 total observations, a total of 505 "research-grade" identifications, and included 32 observers. An amazing result which is directly attributable to our visitors and acting citizen scientists! Thank you to everyone who contributed to our project over the last year, and I hope you will continue to help by sharing discoveries you encounter at The Preserve.




Antrostomus vociferous (Eastern Whip-Poor-Will) Observed: May 21, 2020
© Jacob Saucier, all rights reserved

The Preserve and Partnerships

The graphics below illustrate the number of observations taken at The Preserve throughout the year and a breakdown of observations based on taxonomic groupings. As you can see, our summer months were the most fruitful for our visitors, researchers, and preserve staff.

The spike in observations for June and August coincided with the involvement of preserve staff, research associates, and research fellows in The Wildlife Society 2020 Student Chapter Bioblitz. Bioblitz participants from George Mason University accumulated a sizable amount of observations from The Preserve. going on to achieve first place for total number of species observed, and third place for total number of "research-grade" observations! This was a significant, although not entirely surprising result given the immense biodiversity available within and around the Washington D. C. metropolitan area. Below is the numerical breakdown of observations per broad taxon grouping.

We here at the preserve look forward to participating in several other Bioblitz's in 2021, both as participants and organizers. For anyone interested in participating in a Bioblitz this year, please join the 2021 City Nature Challenge this April-May in an international competition between metropolitan city areas to see who has the most active citizen scientists!




Alaus oculatus (Eastern Eyed Click Beetle) Observed: Jun 10, 2020
© Joe Villari, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)


iNaturalist Summary

Top five most observed species:
#1 Plethodon cinereus (Red-backed Salamander): 43 observations
#2 Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens (Red-spotted Newt): 37 observations
#3 Goodyera pudescens (Downy Rattlesnake Plaintain): 28 observations
#4 Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel): 24 observations
#5 Anaxyrus americanus americanus (Eastern American Toad): 22 observations

Top five identifiers:
#1 @mjwcarr: 250
#2 @wildlandblogger: 234
#3 @lucareptile: 173
#4 @nomolosx: 104
#5 @ericwilliams: 57

Top five observers:
#1 @mjwcarr: 1,582
#2 @jvillari: 498
#3 @wildlandblogger: 404
#4 @saucierj: 316
#5 @darwinsbeetle: 188




Celtis occidentalis (Common Hackberry) Observed: Jun 14, 2020
© Joe Villari, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)

Thank you!

Thank you everyone who contributed observations and assisted in identifying our natural photography subjects. I hope to continuing seeing your input into our collection project throughout 2021!

@mjwcarr
@wildlandblogger
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@nomolosx
@ericwilliams
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@matthias55

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@else
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@scottshreve
@finigan
@alanliang
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@johnkeisers
@groutta
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@bugzilla
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@gamrhein
@bryan-maltais
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@xanigel
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@sanjibdas



ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup Events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group

Publicado em 30 de janeiro de 2021, 04:07 MANHÃ por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 12 comentários | Deixar um comentário

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