Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Traver Creek and High Rains

The Traver Creek Project was started back in 2012 with multiple goals in mind. One of these was allowing Traver Creek to take high amounts of precipitation and slow down the time it takes for the water to reach the Huron River. This helps to alleviate flooding and allows some of the sediment to drop out. With almost 3 inches of rain in the past two days, we got a chance to compare how the creek handles high rain events. The following pictures compare current water levels with a storm that happened May 25-26, 2011, when 3.25 inches of rain fell and Nov 22nd, 2011 when 1.75 inches fell.

The bridge near #10 green in May 2011.

The same bridge in 2015.

#10 green (Nov 2011)

#10 green (2015)

Traver Creek from #13 green (Nov 2011)

Traver Creek in 2015.

#11 fairway in Nov 2011 (Now the location of the Arrowood Branch)

The Arrowood Branch in 2015 (Looking in the other direction.

#12 Green (May 2011)

#12 green (2015)

#12 green (May 2011)

#12 green and created wetland (2015)

Bridge to #18 (May 2011)

Bridge to #18 (2015)

#10 Tee (May 2011)

#10 Tee (2015)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Relocating Turtle Nests

When the Traver Creek Project was started, one of the most interesting parts was the turtle stipulation. In order to begin the creek renovation, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles and other herptofauna were relocated from the two inline detention basins (AKA ponds on holes #12 and #17) on Traver Creek to the pond on #8. There are at least four large snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and numerous painted turtles(Chrysemys picta) in Traver Creek and there was concern over what would happen to these turtles during and after the project was completed. To help them after the project, four sand piles were created for the turtles to use as nesting areas. 

The mother laying her eggs.

Last week, a City employee noticed a painted turtle laying eggs in the lawn area of an apartment complex. These eggs would have had very little chance of hatching and those eggs that hatched would have had a hard time getting to the relative safety of the water. The employee notified Natural Area Preservation (NAP) and the staff herpetologist came out to examine the nest. He determined that the eggs would not survive and removed them. He marked the eggs because they an air bubble grows at the top. If the eggs are inverted, the embryos inside will not develop. 

The eggs in the nest.

Nine eggs were marked and removed. This is a typical amount of eggs per nest.

The eggs were taken to the pond near #12 at Leslie. A shallow hole was excavated and the eggs placed inside. After covering the eggs with soil, a predator exclusion box was placed over the nest. This will keep raccoons and other small animals from eating them until they hatch in September.

One of the turtle nesting mounds.

The predator exclusion box, along with an explanation of what it is and a phone number for questions.

Over the weekend, a golfer noticed a snapping turtle doing the same thing in one of the bunkers at Huron Hills.

The turtles go into a trance when laying eggs and do not respond. Please stay away from them during this process.

These eggs were removed to another location, closer to the south pond of the Huron River.

May 2015 Weather Summary

The highest temperature for the month of May at Leslie Park Golf Course was 85.6 degrees (May 8.) The low temperature for the month was on the 14th, at just 36.2 degrees. That was just a tick below the second lowest temperature of 36.3 degrees, which occurred on the 23rd. This was also the date of the (hopefully) last frost of the season. The last frost in 2013 was on May 26 while in the other years since 2010, the last frost happened during the second week of May. The average temperature for the month was 62.9 degrees.

May had a total of 5.82 inches of rain, with more than half (2.94 inches) coming in the last two days of the month. May 30 had the highest daily total at 1.62 inches with the following day being the only other day that saw over an inch (1.32 inches.) Ten days had over a tenth of an inch of precipitation and 16 had at least a trace of rain. The total rain for the year is 9.53 inches.

The highest sustained wind speed for the month was 29 mph (May 25) and the average wind speed was 2.7 mph.