Native Species Print Series 1, 2 and 3 LbNA # 32908 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Mar 1 2008|
|Found By||Lindsays Snowman|
|Last Found||Nov 3 2007|
Take a pleasant drive down Waterfall Road and you will find Springwood Park. Drive back past the ball diamonds and park at the pavillion. You may have passed a gated drive on your way back. Walk to this now and trek back to the clearing on the other end of this shady drive. You will pass a natural spring on the right. This was once potable water, but the groundwater source shifted, and now it is no longer so. It drains into one of the two marshes in this park. Continue on up the drive.
As you come into the clearing you will see a stand of trees on the right. Go not to the island of three, and not to the chain in the tree. Between these is where you will find a tree with a hollow near its base. Here you will find Bufo Americana, the American Toad, tucked away behind the large piece of bark. In the early and mid summer this clearing is home to many American Toads. They are often found at the base of the trees in among the roots. Beware of little toads (under 1 in. in length), and do not pick them up. The oils on your skin will clog the pores in the toadlets' skin, which can suffocate them.
As of 1/23/2008, this box has been discovered to be in the posession of one of my student's counsins. The two boys discovered the box and didn't know what it was, but thought it was neat, so they kept it. My student is going to try to get it back to me. (I cannot BELIEVE my luck!)
As of 3/1/2008 the stamp from this box was returned to me, and has now been re-hidden somewhere other than the original location. Follow these links to read the whole story: http://www.atlasquest.com/boards/message.html?gMsgId=178882;gAuthorId=5290 and http://www.atlasquest.com/boards/message.html?gMsgId=184130;gThreadId=26635
Once you have traded images with me, walk to the building at the end of the loop. This is the EdVenture Lab. Youngsters from Richmond have come here for several summers to learn about their native forests and streams. Walk around the left side of the building and you will see a trail.
Follow this trail until you see the "Geology Area" sign. Head down this side trail and you will come to a fire circle. This circle was constructed by an eagle scout troop. On the south side of the circle there is a stand telling which troop is responsible.
About six steps behind this stand, there is a deadfall. Behind this deadfall and nestled in among some bark and twigs you will find Procyon Lotor, the raccoon. The garbage can out front of the Edventure Lab has been a popular dining spot for this dexterous species. Please be sure to replace the bark and twigs as this location can be seen from the other trail in the witer.
One of my favorite animals is the next to be featured. This poor striped creature is adorable if you can get past the smell. I have never personally seen one here, but I have smelled evidence that they roam nearby.
Go back to the main trail. Hang a left up the hill and meander past the wetlands. Frogs, grey herons, ducks, muskrats, and even the occasional deer can be spotted here. In the spring there are LOTS of tadpoles and froglets. (Once again, please refrain from picking up frogs under an inch in size.) This is also a great place to find macroinvertebrates of many kinds from mayflies and damsel flies to water beetles and such.
Wander on until you see a path on the right. Head down the hill and you will see a small grouping of three rocks, and one larger rock a bit farther on. Go to the grouping of three rocks and look under the south side of the medium rock. Behind a flat rock and between the two you will find the den of Mephitis Mephitis, the striped skunk. Watch out for garter snakes, they like to lay around the base of these rocks where it is nice and cool on hot days. Please be sure to re-hide well as this is a very trafficked footpath.
You can either choose to continue on the trail, or head back the way you came. There is some nice access to the river from further up the trail, where you can find lots of crawdads and small fish. (And the occasional toad.) This trail was once much more beautiful ahead, but has been torn up for the wastewater project that has the front of the park torn up, too.
Once upon a time I spent many hours and a lot of sweat mulching these trails with a handful of my students. Unfortunately, a good portion of what we spent time mulching is now torn up....I wish they could have gone about this project less invasively.
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