Peak Foliage

Peak Foliage
October on Preston Pond

Brief History of Preston Pond

Born from glaciers about 13,500 years ago, the original pond was only what is now the wider north end. Probably about 10,000 years ago, as the modern forest started to take root, beavers colonized the pond and expanded it (old dams are under the water surface).

With the arrival of Europeans in New York and coastal New England, a vigorous fur trade grew in the 17th Century. Beavers are particularly vulnerable to trapping since they are easy to find and they were wiped out by the 18th Century. With no beavers to maintain the dams, Preston Pond drained and appears on 18th and 19th Century maps as only the smaller original glacial north end.

Reintroduction in the 1920's and 1930's led to beavers recolonizing Preston Pond. By chance, they arrived the same year my grandfather bought the property in 1946. Ever since then, beavers have lived unmolested (by humans) on Preston Pond - until February 2016. They have never caused flooding problems or over-eaten the surrounding forest stand to the point that they abandoned the pond. Their population has doubtlessly had its ups and downs, but they have managed their affairs here for the last 70 years as beavers did for millions of years: on their own, despite some of their top predators having been exterminated by humans.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Parade on Preston Pond

Of all the geese that were hectoring about on the pond over the last couple months, these two settled down and got to business. Today they were showing off the new goslings. It is the first I've seen them, and even though I've only been up to the pond briefly on each of the last few days, they are pretty young. 90 here at the house. Nice day for a swim.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May Chorus Upper Pond

This has always been one of the most captivating sounds to me: music dinosaurs listened to (well, not the owls, but the frogs). One of these days I will have to be hard-hearted and not bring the dogs along when I want to record frogs. They were pretty good really.

Been much going on and have been very inattentive to this blog. Have not been inattentive to the pond though. We have been at least out to and often around the pond every single day. Still no beavers on the main pond. There are at least one or two on the Upper Pond.

A Great Blue Heron has been hanging around a lot lately and the otters were back a few days ago. Brief visit. Haven't seen them since. The Barred Owls are finally making a bit of a racket. They have been unusually quiet much of this spring so far. The frogs are in full chorus though. A few nights before this video was recorded, Bonnie and I went up and Bonnie had to turn back. She had a headache and the intensity of the frog song was too much.