Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Yesterday, taking advantage of a glorious October afternoon, I inspected an old hard rock quarry in my neighborhood that had been filled with clean fill. The four-acre site will be donated to a local land trust to be incorporated into the 33-acre preserved forest that surrounds the quarry. The site's owner did a good job of refilling, recontouring, and reclaiming the quarry, but the fill was seeded with a non-native grass mixture to stabilize the soil. Stabilizing the soil is a good idea (especailly considering how much rain we've had lately), but it makes for poor wildlife habitat. Eventually, the land trust will reforest the site.
The land trust already has a nice one-mile trail that leads through the 33-acre woodland above the quarry.
The trail leads to a large patch of Southern arrow-wood (Viburnum dentatum). This probably should be the most common shrub in the woodlands, but it's also a favorite of the large white-tailed deer herd, so it's among the first plants to disappear from the understory and be replaced by spicebush (Lindera benzoin), which the deer don't find particularly palatable. This patch of arrow-wood was growing near the edge of the quarry, so perhaps it escaped because it was relatively inaccessible.
This was the dramatic evening sky at sundown last night.