Saturday, March 29th, dawned cool and clear and quickly warmed into a beautiful spring day – a perfect day to be outside doing something. For several NWAMN members, doing something outside meant participating in the opening day of NWAMN’s new bio-inventory project, held at a 30-acre site in Cave Springs owned by the Illinois River Watershed Partnership (IRWP). NWAMN has volunteered numerous times for IRWP, both at the Cave Springs site or elsewhere in NWA building IRWP-designed rain gardens, so we have a good, long-standing relationship with the organization.
After a short class on using a logger’s tape, on using a clinometer to measure the height of trees, and on the trigonometry and formula for calculating the height, six NWAMN members -- Elizabeth Summers, Anita Young, Ken Leonard, Carey Chaney, Warren Fields and Ralph Weber -- set out to put their knowledge to use. They took measurements to calculate the height of several trees and measured the diameter at breast height (dbh) of the trees, and took their coordinates using GPS receivers. We plan to continue the project with several sessions through the spring, summer and fall.
While taking the measurements, the NWAMN members were rewarded with a sighting of a Great Horned Owl nest, with the two earlike tufts sticking above the edge of the nest. When finished measuring trees, several from the group wandered onto the adjacent Cave Springs Natural Area looking for white Ozark trilliums. As the picture shows, some were in bloom, but most needed another few warm days. After this winter, just seeing some of them in bloom was a welcome reminder that spring is finally here.
--Photos by Ralph E. Weber--