Fall 2018 Newsletter

 In This Issue

  • WCT Annual Meeting 2018
  • Trail Maintenance
  • Mile a Minute Control
  • Hildreth Meadows Clearing
  • Stony Brook Water Chestnut Project
  • Monitoring and Maintaining Westford Trail Structures
  • What’s in your Backyard? – Recognizing and Controlling Invasives
  • The Power of Water
  • Fall/Winter 2018 Hike Schedule

Fall 2018 Newsletter

 

Marian Harman’s Wildlife Blog – October 2018

Red-tailed hawk staying for the winter by Doug Pederson

The 2018 weather has been the most extreme many of us in the United States and even in Europe have ever experienced. In fact, instead of global warming, the climate change we are seeing is being called by scientists “global weirding”. It is thought that the extremes of cold and snow we experienced this winter and the extremes of heat we experienced this summer, are both caused by the warming of the globe.

Humans are emitting so much carbon dioxide that the earth is covered in a greenhouse blanket it doesn’t seem able to throw off. The hots are getting hotter, the colds are getting colder, storms are getting fiercer, fires and floods are more catastrophic. Weird things happen like much stronger and more frequent hurricanes, the unprecedented heat and humidity of the northeast summer, and the unprecedented heat and dry conditions in California that have been the cause of massive wildfires. Martin Finucane of the Boston Globe reports on work by Hans Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute. Schellnhuber states that giant airstreams called planetary waves that circle the planet are becoming distorted by global warming. “When they get trapped…they slow down so the weather in a given region gets stuck. Rains can grow into floods, sunny days into heat waves, and tinder-dry conditions into wildfires  read more…

Marian’s Wildlife Blog for September 2018

Osprey – Doug Pederson

August and September are bird migration months, and we are sad to see them go. Most of our hawks leave us mid-September when wind conditions are right, as do our hummingbirds, warblers and many others. Sometimes we wish that we could follow along as they make the journey, and now we can.

In 2013, Judy Shamoun-Baranes, a Dutch ecologist at the University of Amsterdam developed a radar tool which makes it possible to visualize bird migrations. Her team developed a visualization program in Europe and also one in the United States. Many birds migrate at night so they are very difficult to track without radar. Shamoun-Baranes used data from thirteen weather radars in the Northeast during the fall of 2010. Blue streaks show the movements of many birds together. The tools show direction, altitude, speed and the different routes birds chose on different days. Depending on weather and winds, birds may choose a southwestern route or an eastern route out over the Atlantic Ocean. read more….

In the news

Every trail a vista to share – Lowell Sun

Honorary Trust Director, Bill Harman

With rakes and clippers, Bill Harman and his team of volunteers keep Westford’s paths clear so all can enjoy. 

WESTFORD — Bill Harman walked along a neatly carved path through the woods, occasionally pausing halfway through a sentence to crouch and pick up a stray wrapper or piece of rubber from the ground.

Cleaning up the town’s natural settings is, at this point, second nature to him — after all, every week for more than five years, Harman has organized a group of volunteers to spend an hour walking through Westford’s trails, clearing any debris so they remain accessible to others.  read more…