The Huntington River
The fields and forests of the Nature Center are bordered by the Huntington River. The River is fed by clear, cold streams coming down the sides of the Green Mountains from Camel's Hump to the Appalachian Gap. The river winds north through the Huntington Valley joining the Winooski River which flows into Lake Champlain.
As you walk along the river, you will see that it is constantly changing the landscape as it carves its course through the valley.
Banks are giving way to the tremendous force of the water and even large hemlocks are toppled as springtime floods wash the supporting earth from their roots. Each spring the river exerts its strength and the land is no longer the same.
As in the brook, the many small animals which live in the river must adapt to a strong current. Fish are streamlined here and powerful swimmers. Insects attach themselves to rocks or seek the calm of quiet pools. These small insects are food for swallows, sandpipers, kingbirds and fish. The fish in turn provide sustenance for the heron, kingfisher or mink.
Rough-winged and black swallows kingfishers nest in the eroded banks. Deer visit quiet pools at dusk and dawn. Beavers use it as a travel way. In summer male mayflies engage in swarming flights inches above the water. The river is a haven for life.
Next: The Swamp
Text/art:Green Mountain Audubon Society
A Nature of Place Project