Monday, December 5, 2016

Turtle Basking Structures

As part of the Traver Creek Restoration Project through the City of Ann Arbor owned Leslie Park Golf Course in 2013, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles were relocated to avoid  the construction. You can read more about the turtle project HERE and HERE

After the project was complete, turtle habitat was supposed to be improved. One way to do that is to install basking structures. This is a place where the turtle can lay in the sun to warm up, while also having the ability to drop quickly back into the water to escape a predator. If you ever go canoeing along the Huron River, you will see lots of turtles on fallen trees along the river banks. We are trying to replicate this type of basking area in the ponds on #8, #12 and #17.

The first step was to find some suitable branches. An opportunity came in the form of some tree trimming we were planning on doing along #11 tee. In order to frame the shot from the Championship tees, we needed to trim back some Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) trees. These trees are non-native and are considered a semi-invasive species.

Once we had the correct size branches, Natural Area Preservation staff started to install the structures.

Positioning the branch in the pond.

Installing lag bolts to hold the anchors.

The "Duckbill" anchor is driven into the ground.

When the drive rod is pulled out, the anchor rotates to lock into the surrounding earth.

Waders were a necessity to place the structure properly on this cold December day.

You can see one of the structures in the pond on #8.

Another basking site near Traver Road on #12.

Friday, December 2, 2016

November 2016 Weather Summary

The high temperature for the month of November was 77.3 degrees (Nov 1st) while the low was 18.6 (22nd.) You can see how this month starts the transition from Fall to Winter. The average temperature was 45.6 degrees, nearly ten degrees cooler than last month. Over the last 60 days, the average temperature has dropped by more than 20 degrees. Nine days had temperatures that were below the freezing point in the morning.

There were 10 days of precipitation with a monthly total of 1.90 inches. Four days saw more than a tenth of an inch of rain and the 28th had the most rainfall with 0.64 inches. The total for the year so far is 28.71 inches.

Average windspeed was 2.7 mph. The highest recorded sustained windspeed was 31 mph, on the 28th.