Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4507
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by dbhguru » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:50 pm

Ents,

Today Monica and I went up stream on the little stream flowing behind our house named Broad Brook. I've reported on it many times in the past. Well, today we went looking for beaver activity and we found plenty. Here's a seen from anew beaver pond.
BroadBrook-7b.jpg
Naturally, my main goal was white pine re-measurements.
BroadBrook-2b.jpg
A cluster of 4 white pines on the edge of the wetland are showing good growth. Two are in the above image. You can see my marker on the left one. The one on the right is now a hair over 135 feet with plenty of growing left to do. I think the Broad Brook corridor supports 26 pines 130 feet tall or more, with two over 140. I measured this pine in 2013. It was 132.3 feet then. So it has grown 2.9 feet in 5 years. That's about 7 inches per year, which is what it looks like from afar.

The really good news is that the City of Northampton is going to try to secure a conservation easement on the stretch of Broad Brook currently managed by Smith Vocational School. I won't go into a tirade about the insensitivity that their forestry people have shown to the wetland and the great wildlife habitat that characterizes the Broad Brook corridor. God save us from these terribly misguided people who think they have to log these wonderful wetland properties to "save them". Any way, if the City is successful, Broad Brook will be left alone to recover along a 2.5 mile corridor and add to Northampton's special conservation lands. It is a victory that Monica and I will savor.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
Larry Tucei
Posts: 2017
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:14 am

Bob- 7" per year is fairly quick. Nice photos it looks like a very cool place to relax. Larry

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4507
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by dbhguru » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:29 am

Larry, et al.,

Here are three more images from yesterday taken about a quarter mile from our house. Ray Asselin and I went up stream to photograph the new beaver lodge and dam. The area needs Ray's equipment and talents to do it justice. All the beaver construction has taken place since May of 2018. Yep, they've been busy as beavers (I had to). I do hope Ray will share some of his images with us. Ray put up a couple of wildlife cameras a couple of years ago and caught images of a young black bear, and met its mama on a return trip.
BB-f.jpg
BB-d.jpg
BB-b.jpg
I still find it hard to believe that we have this outstanding wild corridor beginning just beyond our back door and stretching for several miles. We're slowly getting Northampton officials to recognize upper Broad Brook's ecological significance. We'll walk part of the corridor this coming Wednesday with an important city official and a representative from Smith Vocational School. The plan is to ask Smith Voc. to give a permanent conservation easement on the property in exchange for rights to log another property. They'll be offered a former forested Girl Scout property that was managed. So, let Smith Voc. have at it.

If the swap comes to pass, it will be one of the most satisfying achievements of my late life forest mission. Wish us luck.

While upstream, I also re-measured one of the white pines that I've been tracking for years. It is now 139.1 feet and should join the 140 club with two of its neighbors in two growing seasons. My latest count of 130s along the stream corridor stands at 27. But the story isn't so much the number, but that they've all grown into the 130-height class since 2000, and the good news is that they have broad crowns with multiple leaders. They are far from finishing their upward push.

The white pines are the show species, but there are others that are not too shabby. The RHI for upper Broad Brook stands at 117.5.

With the return of beavers to upper Broad Brook, the habitat value is going to increase. ,The corridor could become a tribute to Mother Nature's ability to re-establish the ecological niches that were so richly distributed in pre-settlement America when beavers dammed virtually every stream east and west.

Oh yes, we've named the two senior beavers, Bucky and Beatrice. maybe we can establish them as two cartoon characters and get rich.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
JHarkness
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by JHarkness » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:11 pm

Bob,

That is awesome news about the beavers! I've always been especially fond of beavers and have been wanting to reintroduce them here for some time, though with invasive plants and deer browse limiting regeneration along most of the stream and wetland corridor on my land that likely won't happen anytime soon. The funny thing is that I was recently asked if I would take a pair of "nuisance beavers". I wish you luck on getting the conservation easement secured, Broad Brook is a wonderful natural treasure, even if it is a small one, it deserves to be preserved and protected from logging. I'm not opposed to responsible forestry, but I personally don't think forested wetland corridors like this one should be managed at all.

How are the Broad Brook hemlocks doing? Some of them look a little thin in the photos.

Joshua
"Be not simply good; be good for something." Henry David Thoreau

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4507
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by dbhguru » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:20 pm

Joshua,

We share a like for beavers. I'll keep you up on the engineering accomplishments of Bucky and Beatrice.

Hemlocks are thin, but most are hanging on. Next couple of years will tell the story.

Here's wild life shot from a few years ago. Ray and I were out exploring and naturally I was looking up into the crowns of trees and darn near stepped on this guy. Oooh!
BroadBrookPorcupine copy.jpg
Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
RayA
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:21 am

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by RayA » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:08 pm

Bob and Monica are lucky to have this great forest and habitat right in their backyard (literally). Sizable trees, windthrows, moss, as well as Bucky and Beatrice, have all combined to give this woodland a primitive look. I could easily spend a week in there trying to do it justice photographically. And this is the least photogenic time of year to showcase this forest's beauty; once spring returns and things green up, it'll be a knockout. Here's a sampling of what I happened upon yesterday...










The beaver lodge, not very tidy looking yet ...
PANA6903-001.JPG
PANA6904-002.jpg

PANA6878-002.JPG
PANA6882-002.JPG
PANA6907-003.jpg
PANA6909-002.jpg

PANA6918-001.JPG

PANA6931-001.JPG
PANA6933-002.JPG
PANA6939-001.JPG
PANA6923-002.jpg
PANA6869-001.JPG
PANA6942-002.jpg
PANA6871-001.JPG
PANA6927-001.JPG
PANA6943-001.jpg

User avatar
Larry Tucei
Posts: 2017
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:23 am

Bob, You are so lucky to have such a Forest right in your backyard. Hopefully they will protect the Habitat. Beavers have their roll unfortunately down south are so plentiful that you are allowed to take them out. Funny you should mention Beavers I saw one 4 days ago that had been hit by a car in the Middle of an industrial development. With small patches of woods surrounded by man's encroachment.
Ray- Great photos they really bring out the look of the Forest.
Larry

ryandallas
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:23 pm

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by ryandallas » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:01 pm

RayA--

First of all, nice photos. What gear/software are you using?

Secondly, some of those Betula lenta look pretty dern big (the ones in the fourth photo, specifically). Have you measured any of them? The biggest one I've ever found was 3 feet in diameter. Those look like they might be close to that.

User avatar
RayA
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:21 am

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by RayA » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:52 pm

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for the compliment, much appreciated. Those photos were taken with a LUMIX GH5S camera, and edited with Premiere Pro video editing software (which is what I use for video work, and will also work on a still photo (like it's one frame from a video clip).

Re the black birches, I don't have the measurements, but rest assured Bob does and hopefully will chime in. But they're not 3' dbh; I can only think of two that just about make it to approximately 3' dbh, or slightly less, in MA (so far).

Larry- and thank you too... you always have a kind word.

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4507
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Broad Brook Keeps on Giving

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:06 am

Ryan,

Most of the black birches we show in these images are 4 to 7 feet in circumference. Rarely, they make it to 8 feet, and in two cases, as Ray mentioned, 9. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and across NY at the same latitude is truly black birch territory.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

Post Reply

Return to “Massachusetts”