Visit to DuMont Meadow
Yesterday, I took a quick trip to DuMont Meadow to explore the area and make some observations. DuMont Meadow is still underneath a lot of snow, if you are planning to visit I would highly recommend snow shoes!
The brisk air and the bright sun made it a lovely outing. I was expecting to see and hear a lot of birds at the meadow (a great sign of spring: Red-winged Blackbirds!) but only heard a small rustle in the trees and the coo of a Mourning Dove.
Instead of looking for birds, I made a small list of observations of trees, lichen, and other plants that I found. At the trail head, there were signs of staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) from previous years; their twigs are velvety and bare from losing their leaves in the colder months. As I continued on the trail, I saw some American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), also known as musclewood, yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum), and some fungus I couldn't identify.
I posted these to the SLT iNaturalist page here! My plant/lichen identification skills still need some work, but iNaturalist is a great resource to share pictures and help out other scientists. If you see that I've misidentified something, please let me know on iNaturalist.
As the seasons progress, I am excited to see signs of Spring and brush up on my identification skills! Stay tuned for more posts!