It is time for some numbers. My wanderings around the village, are, after all, a scientific endeavor, and has a purpose. It is to record the biodiversity of the area. In that recording comes counting species seen. I am only half way through the year. August totals have yet to be determined, so we will deal with March through July for now.
I have broken the areas I am looking at into seven different areas. This enables me to keep a general idea of where and how widespread species are. So each time I walk an area, there is a list of things seen. Each of those lists gets a page, which are then used to create a master list for the area. Actually several master lists. I keep plants, trees and shrubs, Ferns and allies, Fungi, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects, all on separate master lists. Then all the master lists are combined into Total masterlists. Then I have numbers of species seen in the village.
So how many species have I seen? At this point I am only including the ones that I have positively identified. There are more that will eventually get id'd, but for now they are not counted. So, talking plants, Vascular plants...140. Yep. 140 species so far. That's a lot of flowers that I never knew existed. That doesn't include the 25 trees and shrubs. Or 10+ ferns and allies (horsetails, rushes, moonworts, etc.) Then there is the 30+ species of butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and assorted insects. Fungi...most of them unidentified as yet and may never be, but just counting the ones I can tell are different, over 30. I won't even mention the grasses, sedges and reeds.
So we are at 235 different things that I know make their home in the village. That doesn't count animals and bird species. I am amazed, and awed by the wide diversity of life that thrives when we just leave places be.
The other numbers I would like to bring up deal with size. The size of the biggest things that live along side of us. Trees. Since the area has been subjected to logging in the last 100 years, the trees here have had limited time to achieve greatness. That being said, they have done quite well tucked away. The biggest I have seen so far is a Bur Oak. 129" girth. It would take two people just to reach around it. Other oaks are a Red Oak at 82", a White Oak at 81", and a Pin Oak at 59.5", all good sizes for their species. There is a Basswood at 122", and an Elm at 111". Trees that are not, by nature, large, have grown well here also. I've seen Birch that is 62" and a Willow that is 93". The one that surprised me the most was an Ironwood that measured 45.5 inches, quite a bit larger than the normal. Surrounded by "Normal" sized Ironwood, it is the grandfather of the forest.
So that is enough numbers for now. I am content to know that I saw a White Elfin Saddle Mushroom and Highbush Cranberries today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?