Remick Bird Watching

30 05 2011

posted by Tim Case

KLT’s contribution to the regional Gateway to Maine Outside initiative this year was a delightful way to connect several out-of-town guests with one of the great landscapes in our region.  At 83 acres, Remick Preserve provides the visitor a range of forest and wetland habitats, and quite a few birds vocalized their varied songs for our outing.

Dave Tucker was back again to provide expert insight into the many birds seen along the new Remick Preserve trails.  Participants enjoyed the new log crossings build by local Boy Scouts and observed the beaver pond has drained out again in the absense of nature’s engineers.

New stream crossing

If you missed this outdoor adventure, we will surely be doing more in the near future!
In the mean time check out all the great programs in southern Maine at the G2MO website!

Listening for feathered friends


Pond Hockey & Climate Change

21 03 2011

posted by Melissa Paly

It may be the first day of spring but the snow is flying outside my office window in downtown Portsmouth.  In the next room my colleague and office mate Bill Rogers is busy editing what will be the third half-hour installment of his new weekly television program, the GreenScreenTV, that airs Sunday mornings at 11:30 am on MY TV New England (broadcast on TV 50, and on channel 18 on most Comcast systems).  It’s full of interesting stories about climate change solutions happening very close to home.

Kittery Land Trust Board member Cameron Wake is featured in the first show, talking about the connection between pond hockey and climate change.  It’s a sweet little piece about a great New England winter tradition that may go the way of the dodo.

Click here to see what real winter fun is all about:

While your at it, click here to learn about what might be America’s smallest ski hill, just down the road in South Berwick.

What a glorious winter it’s been, but bring on SPRING!

Good bugs in Kittery forests

1 12 2010

posted by Alex Dearborn

This morning I met Greg Bjork and Melanie Duffy of Maine Forest Service (MFS) at the Lynch Lane side of Kittery Land Trust’s Norton Preserve. Greg and Melanie are MFS Entomology Technicians who are monitoring the health of tiny Ln beetles released in our woods in 2007.

The beetles’ job is to eat the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, a small white infestation threatening hemlock stands in increasingly northern latitudes. Left unchecked, its estimated that this blight could wipe out large stands of hemlocks in southern Maine.

Melanie and Greg have shaken a hemlock branch onto the white canvas platform to dislodge whatever is living on the branch. They shuffle through the fallout looking for the Ln beetle.

The entymologists say that the beetle is holding its own in many of the forests they sampled this year, although none were found at our Norton site. They found the wooly adelgid to have increased slightly, although the hemlocks seemed to be surviving. Melanie supposes that the beetles may have moved up higher in the forest canopy this month to find warmer locations, so she will return in spring for another look.

This MFS monitoring will take place twice a year to further the science of “biocontrol” in preserving our forests.

More Invaders of Hemlock Trees in Kittery

9 11 2010

Post by Tim Case

You might have caught the article last Saturday in local papers and on public radio …  now in addition to Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), scale has been found on hemlocks here in Kittery.  On Gerrish Island to be more precise.  It is moving northward into Maine, just behind HWA and will have devastating effect on these majestic and useful trees.

KLT has been cooperating with the Maine Forest Service (see earlier blog about field surveys) and we are planning increased outreach and educational opportunities for members and other citizens to learn how to identify these threats to our natural communities.  Large hemlock stands are prominent features in four KLT preserves and it will be a crying shame if the trees succumb to these bugs within a few years.

What a Fabulous Find

1 11 2010

posted by Alex Dearborn

I ran into Kittery Land Trust supporter Anne Bryer the other day, and she gave me a kind of mischievous look and said I should get over to The Fabulous Find on October 7th.

What is this?  I don’t really need any new clothes, even though this new thrift shop does have great stuff, I discovered.

Turns out that Anne had sold some Fabulous Find wares at the Kittery Land Trust (KLT) annual clambake, and the Fabulous folks wanted to present the KLT with a check.

So, on that Thursday eve KLT President Ken Fellows accepted a check for $1200! Wine and cheese, smiles all around, and an aura of success was noticeable.

Kittery Land Trust is a land preservation organization which cares for 400 acres of land in Kittery on a very slim budget, so this gift will be quite noticeable on our balance sheet.  On that same evening Kittery’s Fuel & More  charity was presented with a check as well.

I asked Muriel Durgin, one of the Fabulous folks, how a three-month-old startup can give away sums like this.  The Fabulous Find is a non-profit thrift store located on Rte 1 in Kittery. They take gifts of quality clothing and household goods, sell them, and turn over the profits to charity.  They intend to do this monthly, each time to a different charity.  Due to a generous local citizenry and to volunteer staffers, they have been in the black since they opened.  Roll on, TFF!

I know there’s a great pair of corduroys in the closet somewhere that somehow shrunk during the summer…

Autumn…a second time at Seapoint

30 10 2010

Post by Tim Case

Frequent visitors to KLT’s Seapoint Preserve this summer probably noticed most of the sumac trees lost their leaves in late August after a Nor’easter covered them with salt spray.  They seemed to have recovered by early September and even started sprouting new green leaves!  Only to lose them again in the past weeks with falling temperatures.  Is this a common occurrence?  Have you seen this in past years?

Sumac regrows leaves in early September

Great Horned Owlets Release

22 10 2010

posted by MJ Blanchette

last night i was lucky enough to attend the release of two beautiful great horned owlets by the Center for Wildlife. it was so humbling to have such a close look at these amazing creatures.

Karen McElmurry, executive director of CFW, gives us all a few minutes to take in their beauty

Amy Titcomb, operations director for CFW, prepares for the release

prior to the release, Kristen Lamb, Education and outreach director for the Center for Wildlife wrote:

Both great horned owlets were admitted this spring due to injuries sustained from falling from the nest.  They received medical care and attention and once stable were put outside with our permanent foster great horned owl Galileo.  Once fully flighted and at the stage where they would fledge from the nest they were put in our 100 foot flight enclosure to build up strong flight muscles and practice hunting (owls move to hunting grounds in the fall to practice hunting with supplemental feeding from parents).  They are both 100% recovered and are fierce great horned owls ready for release.  We have banded them and taken wing-chord, tail, and habitat information thanks to a partnership with Biodiversity Research Institute.  They are ready to go!
the release took place on former KLT board member Bill Cutts’s property, which is just adjacent to the Cutts Conservation land; 22 acres of upland forest and wetland.

we had a good turnout for the event and the evening couldn’t have been more beautiful — cool temps, clear sky, full moon — what a special and heartwarming send-off.

small crowd of friends, supporters and board members (past, present and perhaps future) of both KLT and CFW

the Kittery Land Trust and the Center for Wildlife are partners in the Gateway to Maine Outside program. KLT thanks the Center for Wildlife for the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful occasion!