Author Archives: Robyn J Burnham

About Robyn J Burnham

Robyn is a plant biologist to the bone. She has been interested in plants since she was a small child, sent to weed the parts of the garden she could not destroy. She maintains a teeny organic farm with every vegetable that she can squeeze into its hilltop space. Her real passion is vines, and tropical woody ones (lianas) are the best. Her favorite plant? Depends on which moment you ask her...

Phenology of Plants at Big Woods Project

U-M Mycology lab is conducting plant surveys in the Big Woods during leaf out this spring. The project is a collaboration led by Brian Sedio and Jordan Kueneman of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to understand the association of plant chemistry with fungal endophyte [leaf inhabiting] communities. Pictured are Rebecca Clemons and Kevin Amses.

New Addition to ES George Reserve

Just arrived at the E.S. George Reserve, this little bundle of joy: Levi A. Wenner!! And who knew we had storks?! Congratulations Kayla, Alex, and Quinn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature baby not speaking a word
Nature baby free as a bird
Nature Baby living day by day
Nature Baby always floating away. Feeling the soil around my feet
The sun rays beating down with heat
My being feeling like I’m not physically here
And when I look around I’m so much more aware. The energy keeps coming my way
As I buzz through life and play
Nature Baby being free
Nature Baby that is me
That is what is meant to be. Nature Baby gave the garden lots of love and energy
And now the gardens have surrounded me with beauty
And the heavenly scents from each flower in bloom
As we share the space within this big room. Nature Baby as free as a bird
Nature Baby not speaking a word.

by Jaye (Julianna) Low

  

Wood Frogs Calling and Laying Eggs – Week of April 8

Mike Benard from Case Western Reserve University returned to the ESGR to collect wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) eggs this week (April 8-9).  He will raise the wood frogs in controlled laboratory conditions alongside wood frogs spanning a latitudinal gradient from North Carolina to Michigan to test for geographic variation in response to photoperiod and temperature.

See below for a photo of wood frog eggs (Ilex Pond) and a wood frog (West March 6)

 

Sustainable Living Experience Visit April 6-7

The Sustainable Living Experience came for their second visit to the ESGR.  This time the weather cooperated and they were able to sleep outside in hammocks and tents – fun but a little chilly.  They prepared group meals, went on a walk with Robyn Burnham, and had a bonfire complete with S’mores.

December 18 Bird Survey at ESGR

The ESGR hosted 12 people for a bird survey that started at 6AM and ended around 11AM, December 18th, 2018.
  ~~ 27 species were tallied ~~
Highlights were great looks at Barred and Eastern Screech-Owls pre-dawn (making the early morning worth it). It was great to have access to a warm house and kitchen for refreshments.
We are looking forward to a return by the bird surveyors during breeding season, in May or June.  We also welcome visits by bird watchers during the earlier migration too!
Happy Solstice Everyone!

RETREAT HELD FOR LANDMARK STUDY OF RED SQUIRRELS

The annual meeting of the Kluane Red Squirrel Project (www.redsquirrel.ca) was held at E.S. George Reserve in December 2018. The Kluane Red Squirrel Project is a 30+ year study of the ecology, evolution, behavior, physiology, and energetics of North American red squirrels in the Yukon, Canada. Members gather each year to discuss squirrel lore as well as project logistics, the latest results, and future research plans. This workshop gathered researchers from Ben Dantzer’s Lab at the University of Michigan along with their collaborators from the University of Alberta, University of Guelph, and the University of Saskatchewan.

Sometimes Things Just Happen...

Sometime in mid September, 2018 this gorgeous old oak crashed to the ground, bringing with it innumerable nests and holes, but creating some new connections to the soil organisms!  Photos by Alex Wenner & Nathan Sheldon

Where do Spring Peepers go in Summer?

We were surprised the first time we relabeled one of the pvc tubes from 2017 in the Big Woods ForestGEO plot.  Then we found the spring peepers regularly in the tubes.  We don’t know if this will increase the population of spring peepers, but we applaud their presence in this constructed habitat!