The Ancient Woods Landscape
The locally named Ancient Woods is a rare old-growth remnant of upland forest that slopes northward to merge with deciduous-mixed swamp surrounding the mid and upper reaches of Bauman Creek.
These woodlands connect in amoeba-like fashion with Blair Road Slope Woods, Manor House Woods and Barn Woods. Collectively, they form a somewhat contiguous 60 ha of mature and maturing woodlands.
Ancient Woods is home to more than a dozen species of birds dependent upon its old-growth characteristics and very large, old trees, swamp, cavitied trunks and branches, decaying windfalls and sunlit forest gaps. Eastern screech-owl, five species of woodpeckers, scarlet tanager, brown creeper and ruffed grouse are found here. Winter wren sings persistently along the creek. The catch-basin ponds in spring attract wood ducks and are spring habitat for frogs and salamanders.
Under the canopy of red and white oaks, white ash, basswood and white pine, is a ground cover of ferns, shrubs and flowering plants in a mix of Northern Hardwood and Carolinian species. A third of the 17 species of ferns identified on the reserve, including interrupted fern, lie within Ancient Woods. Unpalatable to white-tailed deer, spicebush thrives in the understory of the mixed swamp. The regionally rare squawroot grows at the base of massive oaks. The mid-reach of Bauman Creek supports brook trout. A small drainage basin with little contact with croplands, Bauman Creek in its mid and upper reaches, boasts water of high quality.
Ancient Woods & Vision
The vision for Ancient Woods is to protect and enhance this remnant of old-growth upland forest and to provide limited access for educational and research purposes. To protect the undergrowth and ground cover, walking trails will skirt the perimeter, offering a scenic vista of large, two-hundred year-old trees whose canopy filters mid-day sunlight and holds moisture of the early morning dew.