But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
We had made several plans for this year: Starting a Big Year for Jefferson County, AR, Seeing at least 245 species of birds in the state, and seeing over 200 species in the yard. All of these came to a halt when I got a job at Logoly State Park (pronounced “Low-Go-Lie”) near Magnolia, AR (Columbia County; far away in southwest Arkansas). That is where the bad news ends. Its a great job and the park is full of wildlife. I have had several “lifers”, though not birds, in the park. I even have plans of starting a blog for the park to talk of cool wildlife sightings and upcoming events/programs. Arkansas features 52 State Parks (only one National Park but a couple of National Forests and a National River). These parks not only deal with the natural but also the historical and some the recreational.
Logoly State Park features a winding stream that meanders through upland and bottomlands hardwood-pine forests. There is even some old growth forest in this area (my favorite is a 300 year old Northern Red Oak). There are two ponds: one made by boyscouts in the mid-20th century and the other made by beavers. There are salt springs that have attracted all manner of people for a few hundred years (Magnesia Springs). We have over 3 miles of trails on 360 acres.
The wildlife, as I said previously, is abundant. We have tons of herps. I’ve added Spotted and Marbled Salamander to my lifelist. The lizards are out in full force on a bright day. So far I have seen: Ground Skink, Five-lined Skink, Broadhead Skink, Eastern Fence Lizard, and Green Anole. We have had tons of frogs calling so far: American Bullfrog, Bronze Frog, Fowler’s Toad, Dwarf American Toad, Cope’s Gray Treefrog, Green Treefrog, Blanchard’s Cricket Frog, and Southern Leopard Frogs. I’ve only seen one turtle (Red-eared Slider) and a couple of snakes: Cottonmouth, Broad-banded Watersnake, and Rough Earthsnake.
The butterflies and moths show up in droves. Rosy Maple Moths are at the Visitor Center lights every night and several Luna Moths have made appearances. A Henry’s Elfin has been the coolest butterfly so far. Several Goatweed Leafwings, Juvenal’s Duskywings and Falcate Orangetips have been seen as well. Dragonflies have been very cooperative as we go out netting to survey them. We’ve found Common Baskettails, Common Whitetails, Ashy Clubtails (lifer), Common Green Darner, Stream Cruiser (lifer), and Blue Corporals.
Plant life is pretty diverse, too. There is a native azalea that is currently in bloom that I had never seen before. Wax myrtles are everywhere along with Sweetbays. Both were new to me. There are copious amounts of ferns as well.
Its a good job for my interests and I hope to continue posting throughout the year.