Environmental Features

Main Bridge Site

The Indian Mound Reserve is booming with life! Each season brings out a different array of flora and fauna. Scroll to learn more about the lively activity going on at the park.

 

Vegetation

The Indian Mound Reserve is rich in plant life! Visit any time during the spring, summer, or fall to experience trees and wildflowers galore.

TREES

Trees can be most easily recognized by their leaves, and the best time of year to observe them is during the fall when all the leaves are on the ground! If you’re an aspiring arborist, visit the Indian Mound Reserve from October – November to get a good look at its diverse range of tree species, including Swamp White Oak, Black Maple, Honey Locust, Chinkapin Oak, American Sycamore, and Common Hackberry.

WILDFLOWERS

Wildflowers begin to make their debut around April and May, and can stick around all the way through mid-autumn!
Though small, many of them like to grow in clusters which makes them easy to spot from the trails. Look for New England Aster, Calico Aster, Wild Carrot, Hairy White Oldfield Aster, Common Blue Wood Aster, and Low Smartweed.

AMONG THE LEAVES

Leaves aren’t the only thing to see during autumn. Among the leaves, you might find some fun fruit from the fruit-bearing trees! Visit the trails around late September – October and you might see some berries from an Amur Honeysuckle tree, flat legumes from a Honey Locust tree, or walnuts from an Eastern Black Walnut tree.

WHAT CAN YOU FIND?

You don’t have to spend much time at the Indian Mound Reserve to realize just how diverse the plant life can be. This page only scratches the surface! Which means there is much more to be explored.

 

Wildlife

While it’s easy to see that the Indian Mound Reserve is rich in vegetation, the variety of wildlife might not be as obvious at first glance. But take a closer look – there are many creatures to be found! A few of the most common animals in this area are:

  • Amphibians – American Bullfrog, American Toad, Eastern Red-backed Salamander
  • Reptiles – Northern Watersnake, Painted Turtle, Common Garter Snake, Common Box Turtle, Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle, Dekay’s Brownsnake
  • Mammals – Easter Gray Squirrel, White-tailed Deer, Eastern Chipmunk
  • Fish – Common Carp, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Darter
WHAT CAN YOU FIND?

You don’t have to spend much time at the Indian Mound Reserve to realize just how diverse the wildlife can be. The creatures presented on this page are just a snippet of all the life there is to observe here! In other words, there is much more to be explored.

 

Soils

Soil is a solid matrix primarily made up of minerals and organic material. Its where the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere mix and mingle! Let’s start with the geosphere. Bedrock is the foundation underneath all of the vegetation and soil we see on the earth’s surface. As the top of the bedrock weathers over time, it deposits minerals into the soil resting just above it. These minerals can sit above the parent bedrock for a long time, or they can be transported by the movement of water deep in the ground – which is where the hydrosphere comes in. On top of the soil is where we find the biosphere – plants and animals – which contribute to the organic component of soil through the decomposition of organisms, the waste of organisms, or even the presence of organisms themselves. If you pick up a handful of soil, you may notice that there is actually quite a bit of empty space in and throughout soil. This space allows for the movement of air and water, where the atmosphere plays its part in aerating the soil.
Seek by iNaturalist is a great resource to learn more about both plant and animal life. It’s a free app that allows you to identify plant and animal species simply by using your phone camera! Download the app for your phone here.
REFERENCES
  1. Seek by inaturalist · inaturalist. iNaturalist. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2021, from https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app.

Content developed by Audrey Illig.

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