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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Frog songs and Deer snorts

Apparently Bullfrogs are not "officially" recorded for Bolton, so having heard a couple last night I went out to try to get some video. Little luck with the Bullfrogs; they aren't very vocal yet (I did get one, but it is faint), but the Spring Peepers, Toads, and Gray Tree Frogs were in high gear. Peepers are everywhere. Most toads were north of Preston Pond in the wetlands and there were more Green Tree Frogs singing at the Upper Pond than at Preston Pond. Green Frogs made occasional contributions on both ponds and there were quite a few Pickerel Frogs, though they were only on Preston Pond. The one Bullfrog recording I got was on Preston Pond. This is a Gray Tree Frog at the Upper Pond. Video below:
The local deer weren't happy that I was out and about when normal humans are at home with loved ones. I jumped two at very close range walking out at dusk (8:50 pm) and around 10:00 pm, while focused on recording frogs along the west shore of Preston Pond, a deer came up on me from behind along the same beaver trail I had used and scared itself. It belted out a series of warning snorts. Bit of a start for me too:-).

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