a visit to Lyn Falls

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Fred Schueler

Dec 30, 2012, 9:05:37 PM12/30/12
to Eastern Ontario Natural History list-serve

26 December 2012

Canada: Ontario: Leeds County: Elizabethtown: Golden Crk at Lyn Falls, 2.1 km ENE Lyn. (100m ard waypoint), 31B/12, 44.58568N 75.76163W TIME: 1520-1650. AIR TEMP: ca -10C, overcast, Beaufort light air. HABITAT: 6 m waterfall in steep stream valley, among WPine, Ash, Black Cherry woods on Shield. OBSERVER: Aleta Karstad Schueler, Frederick W. Schueler, Owin Clarkin, Clay Shearer. 2012/377/c, visit () (event). natural history, oil, walk, photo. fair flow of greenish water over the falls. Painting of the first step of the falls - lots of lovely shelves and crumples of ice - not frozen across below the falls, but smoothly frozen over above the falls.

While Fred was keeping Aleta company at the site of creation, Owen and Clay conducted "a casual (non-comprehensive) survey of the woody vegetation in the immediate vicinity of the falls. We found a canopy dominated by Ash, primarily Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Red Ash) the largest was 104.5 inches CBH, which translates roughly to 84.5 cm in DBH) with a significant amount of Fraxinus nigra (Black Ash) in lower areas and some suspected (but not confirmed) Fraxinus cf americana (White Ash). NO:Agrilus planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer) signs were found; however with the looming spread of EAB it is to be anticipated that this site, like so many in Eastern North America, will look very different in a few short years as its Ashes are found by the borer.

"Additionally, significant numbers of medium-sized Pinus strobus (White Pine), Prunus serotina (Black Cherry) (one slender tree near the lookout over the falls with blackly flackey bark), Ulmus americana (White Elm) (smallish size with many standing dead, one ca 15 cm DBH tree near the lookout over the falls with a long scar down the length of the trunk, as if struck by lightning) and Quercus rubra (Red Oak) were found on the higher ground whereas on the lower ground medium-sized Quercus macrocarpa (Bur Oak) and Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow Birch) were present. Along the ravine edges and growing out of sheer rock were Tsuga canadensis (Hemlock), from fairly large to small; one stout specimen had tumbled to lower ground in the last decade or so after its roots let go of the rocky face. One small (2-3 m height) but not young Hemlock growing adjacent to the falls out of a nearly vertical rocky edge apparently showed evidence of the 2012 drought by recently dropping most of the needles of its crown after having previously been healthy, complete with fresh-looking unopened cones in the dead crown and evidence of a moderate growth rate before the dieback. Another small Hemlock (photo) across from the falls exemplifies perserverence by growing back strongly from a lateral branch after falling over from its precarious perch a few years ago.

"The understory consisted primarily of Xanthoxylum americanum (Prickly-Ash) and the non-native Rhamnus cathartica (Common Buckthorn) (Cathartic Buckthorn) on higher ground, whereas lower ground was dominated by Cornus alternifolia (Alternate-leaved Dogwood) and Acer spicatum (Mountain Maple), with some Cornus rugosa (Round-leaved Dogwood) also in the mix. A solitary young Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) was also found on low ground. Ferns present at this site include Dryopteris spp, Polypodium virginianum (Rock Polypody) , Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive Fern), Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern) and Osmunda claytoniana (Interrupted Fern)."

This survey started out with an instance of "human folly" as Ownen & Clay girdled what they took an alien Acer ginnala (Amur Maple) below the falls, but once again inaction would have been prefereable to action. . . They soon after realized that they'd "erroneously hacked not an Amur Maple but a native Mountain Maple. My 6th sense, useful in helping to decide chess moves by telling you what is wrong but not necessarily revealing what is right, told me something was wrong but I foolishly thought I positively ID'd it upon seeing the seeds, which did not have the typical indent expected with Acer spicatum (Mountain Maple) (and Acer pensylvanicum); apparently this indent is lost late in the season which is something I had not noticed before."


         Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills - http://pinicola.ca/mudpup1.htm
Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
         South Nation Basin Art & Science Book
    RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
  on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
   (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/

Aleta Karstad

Dec 30, 2012, 9:16:00 PM12/30/12
to natur...@googlegroups.com
I don't think Owen would want his mistake about the Mountain Maple to go in the Naturelist message.... too late now!


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Aleta Karstad

http://aletakarstad.com/ - my homepage and weblog
http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/ - my daily biodiversity paintings
http://fragileinheritance.org/ - in support of long term monitoring
http://fragileinheritance.org/projectsthirty/thirtyintro.htm - 30 Years Later Expedition - 2010-2012
http://doingnaturalhistory.com/ - doing natural history!
http://pinicola.ca/aleta.htm - more Aleta Karstad art & journals
http://thenaturejournal.ca/ - the Green Journal Revolution!!!
http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm - Bishops Mills Natural History Centre

Owen Clarkin

Dec 31, 2012, 10:32:00 AM12/31/12
to natur...@googlegroups.com, Clay Shearer
I'm glad you made sure that anybody who may have innocently missed it on the first pass sits up and pays attention. :-)  I guess this now calls for an "official response" to the editor.

Hmmm....Ideally one's ego should not get it the way of the truth...
The only real mistake here is to nip a shoot when you don't bother to check beyond its fruit to verify the ID, as the fruit of Amur Maple and Mountain Maple look very similar in winter (and you're primarily paying attention not to shrubs but the more attractive Hemlocks and Yellow Birches).  When then next specimen you see a mere 3 minutes later clues you in to its actual ID (i.e. the twigs of Mountain Maple look nothing like Amur Maple), that's par for the course for winter tree ID.  As in all aspects of Nature, it would be best not to interfere with things until 100% certain, and even then perhaps not .  As I stated privately the most ironic thing is that the chopper, recognizing futility for what it really is, placidly walked past countless invasive Cathartic Buckthorns to reach the "Amur" Maple...


Fred Schueler

Dec 31, 2012, 10:56:04 AM12/31/12
to natur...@googlegroups.com
Quoting Owen Clarkin <wre...@gmail.com>:

> As I stated privately the most ironic thing is that the
> chopper, recognizing futility for what it really is, placidly walked past
> countless invasive Cathartic Buckthorns to reach the "Amur" Maple...

* of course the difference is that cutting one stem of a Buckthorn
would make no difference to the species' codominant position in the
area, any more than cutting one stem of abundant Mountain Maple would,
while the first individual of an invader really ought to be taken out.
Both Owen and I have seen individual Amur Maples in otherwise
uninvaded sites (though perhaps not in as shady a place as the
misidentified one was), and given the general failure to deal with
early colonizers of invasive species, I tend to feel that immediate
action really ought to be taken in these cases. No harm done in the
present situation, and we've learned something useful about
identification of understory Maples. The question is - how does one
deal with the highway departments and horticulturalists (and
Conservation authorities) that continue to distribute and actively
tolerate Amur Maples?

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