Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Color change in Ash tree leaves

Happy Fall Everyone! Fall reminds me of pumpkins, nice 70 degree days, and fall leaf color change.
 Recently, I got to go look for tree leaf color change in black ash trees from a helicopter. The red in the picture above is from maple trees. Ash have a light green to yellow leaf color occurring around now. Black ash are a species of ash tree that is usually found in very wet habitat, wetland for example. There are not too many around our area in NW Ohio, but there is in Michigan. The US Forest Service is interested in looking for tree still alive after the initial die-off from of EAB (Emerald Ash Borer), as they continue to try to breed EAB resistant ash trees. Black ash is the American ash species that is the most similar species to Asian ash/Manchurian Ash.

Here are a few other breath-taking pictures I took from the helicopter.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Great Blue Heron

For a couple of days last week a Great blue heron was always near a ditch one of the root labbers passes on the drive home.  She got a good pic of it one day and it reminded her of the bird research of our lab alum Sara Zaleski. During the late summer of 2014, large ditches which held water in August were surveyed for wading birds. Surveys were conducted for three months. Great blue herons were the only wading bird detected during surveys. Results indicate great blue herons prefer large ditches which hold water throughout most of the year and are sparsely vegetated. Great blue herons were likely utilizing the ditches as foraging habitat. To manage ditches for great blue heron habitat, it is best to select large ditches and keep them clear of vegetation by regularly mowing or dredging the ditch.