Monday, October 11, 2010

A few shots from field work in the catskills

Below are a few shots from some of the field work I've been doing in the Catskills since May. I don't typically have much time to take photos, but I sometimes try to carry my small "field" camera with me, an old nikon coolpix camera. So the quality is not too great, but it is nice to document some of the places we go to, and the things we do.

A view of from the Ashokan Reservoir.

The canopy of a maple plot at Diamond Notch.
A soil core. The O, A, and B horizons are visible.

Collecting canopy foliage samples, using a shotgun.

My arms after a day in the field, in June I believe. It may look bad, but really, the biting insects are not too bad at all compared to the White Mountains.
My favorite field location by far- the rondout creek. It is a beautiful place, I feel fortunate to be able work in such a beautiful spot. We did find time after work to jump in the creek twice, it was always very cold. John Burroughs, the famous writer and naturalist said of the creek,

"My eyes had never before beheld such beauty in a mountain stream. The water was almost as transparent as the air — was, indeed, like liquid air; and as it lay in these wells and pits enveloped in shadow, or lit up by a chance ray of the vertical sun, it was a perpetual feast to the eye — so cool, so deep, so pure; every reach and pool like a vast spring. You lay down and drank or dipped the water up in your cup, and found it just the right degree of refreshing coldness. One is never prepared for the clearness of the water in these streams. It is always a surprise. See them every year for a dozen years, and yet, when you first come upon one, you will utter an exclamation. I saw nothing like it in the Adirondacks, nor in Canada. Absolutely without stain or hint of impurity, it seems to magnify like a lens, so that the bed of the stream and the fish in it appear deceptively near. It is rare to find even a trout stream that is not a little "off color," as they say of diamonds, but the waters in the section of which I am writing have the genuine ray; it is the undimmed and untarnished diamond. If I were a trout, I should ascend every stream till I found the Rondout. It is the ideal brook"

Above is a typical trail in the catskills, I think this is at Diamond Notch again.

Above: Bear sign on the beech tree, claw marks from a black bear climbing up to retrieve beech nuts, a favorite food of black bears. It is a sad sight to see nearly all the beech trees infected with BBD, I wonder what, if any, impact that has on the bear.
Below: bear scat.
Sun through a thick beech canopy, one of my favorite views in the forest. Just another great day at the 'office'!Trailhead sign at Batavia Kill, where we have four oak plots.Above: A shot from the oak forest at Kanape Brook, where we have some beautiful red oak plots. Last time I was there it was painful, acorns were falling all over the place.

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