Virtual Nature Trail
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Stream Trail Observation 4Continuing along the path we pass through a spice bush thicket and after walking past a fallen American beech tree that was cut and removed from the trail, we pass between two, very large, white ash trees and enter an extensive witch hazel thicket. The trail has become very damp and may even be quite muddy. There are numerous springs in this section of the trail that continuously seep to the surface and form a sheet of slowly running water that contributes to the flow of our stream. Earthworms living in this damp soil must frequently re-dig their fragile burrows. These worms cast the ingested soil up onto the soil surface in "midden" piles of uniformly sized soil aggregates. These earthworm burrows are very important aeration channels into the dense, damp soil and help to facilitate plant root growth and survival. Also, the surface cast soil aggregates are enriched with organic matter and microorganisms and are very stable and erosion resistant in water.

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