Saturday, March 12, 2016

South Burlington Families in Nature (1'st walk) Wheeler Natural Area

Wheeler Natural Area, South Burlington, VT

Guided Walk

March 12, 2016

Wow, what a pleasure meeting up with you all today at Wheeler for a pop up hike and meet up. Special thanks to Betty and Melissa for hosting and for an informative walk.

Walk highlights and summary
  • By my count there were 16 of us on the walk

  • Included were young folks ages 4, 5, 6, 15, 17. 

  • Walk started at 2PM and ended at 4PM

  • Guides were Betty Milizia and Melissa Cuke

  • Guests were Cathy Chamberlain, Dave Whitmore, Connie Hilt, Tom and Cari Papp and their two children, Karen Whitby, Meaghan Emery &  Jean Chaulot and their three children and myself (Bernie Paquette).  

  • Guide info included information from Melissa describing the Wheeler property as a combination of wetlands/marsh-like, shrub-land, grassland, and pine and other early stage treed forest.

  • Melissa pointed out a Burr Oak tree, we believe to be one of if not the oldest tree in SB, perhaps in the 200 year old range. Dead standing trees or stags were pointed out for their important value as homes for birds, bats and other critters, source of food (bugs inside the stag) for birds and animals, and when the stag finally falls down on its own, the material refurbishes the soil. 

  • Mud was prevalent - making the trail slippery, however no casualty other than a 'little' mud on a few pairs of pants. Temperature was in the 50's.

  • Thistle seed or burrs (Natures's original Velcro) was located, or located one of us early on the walk, offering a lesson on how we can learn from nature and emulate nature for our own benefit.

  • General discussions included past wildlife observations, stories of past encounters up close and personal with bees, after they were disturbed, and many other interesting conversations.

  • A 'paper' bees nest was observed about 12 feet off the ground on a tree branch just off one of the trails. No bees noted, perhaps they were all asleep. We did not try to wake them.
  • No dinosaurs observed, adding evidence that our open space areas are not only beautiful, and full of interesting natural elements, but also, they are free of dinosaurs eating people like chicken nuggets. So nothing to fear, and natural elements to explore with great people to explore with.

I invite you to view my Wheeler park posting "Tree Party" (A story walk from Dec)

Also, you can view many more posts of photos of SB open space parks @
once you open this address, page down to Natural Areas, then select a posting. There is a second Natural Areas section further down as well. 

Based on comments from folks today I have updated my SBFiN (SB families in Nature) program proposal which can be viewed at South Burlington Families in Nature - Program PROPOSAL | South Burlington, Vermont Photos and commentary. There are 'get your kids out into nature' reading resources listed at the bottom of the posting. 

Isn't it great to live in an age with nearby natural open spaces and no dinosaurs roaming around eating people like chicken-nuggets?

Bernie Paquette