Bluegrass Lane Natural Areas
The Bull Pasture Ponds are forested wetlands with a tall swamp white oak canopy near a small north-south drainage divide. The area is located in the northeast corner of Cornell's Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, south of Bluegrass Lane and just south of the golf course ponds.
Bluegrass Lane Wetland, a marsh dominated by wetland herbs and shrubs, lies north of Bluegrass Lane, near the golf course ponds.
Bluegrass Lane Meadow is located at the intersection of Warren Road with Bluegrass Lane, just north of Moakley House.
Bull Pasture Ponds
Uncommon habitats, such as this swamp forest dominated by large swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) trees, may harbor both rare plants and rare animals. Identifying and protecting rare plants is often a good way to locate and protect rare animals. Here, among the tree roots in the shallow ponds of this locally rare vegetation type, two locally scarce salamander species come to mate each spring, and the young hatch and the larvae remain until midsummer.
These upland ponds are forested wetlands with a tall swamp white oak canopy near a small north-south drainage divide. Bull Pasture Ponds represents a rare vegetation type in the area - upland swamp white oak forest. It also is the breeding place and habitat of the larval stage of the scarce Jefferson's salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) and spotted salamander (A. maculatum). The vegetation, the right water level, and high-quality water are critical for the survival of the young salamanders. It is important that the water table in the swamp remains high from spring to midsummer to preserve the breeding grounds of the salamanders, but also that the water level fluctuates annually to preserve the swamp white oak. After mating, the adult salamanders, and later the juveniles, return to nearby oak forests for the rest of the season, where they spend most of their time burrowed in the forest floor. There they feed on earthworms, spiders, millipedes, and insects. The oak woods must also be preserved to protect these animals, which migrate along specific pathways and return quite faithfully to the same ponds and forest burrows each year.
Bluegrass Lane Wetland
This drainage-divide marsh dominated by wetland herbs and shrubs is one of the few large wetlands remaining close to campus. It is a place where water-level fluctuations in response to changes in the local water table can readily be seen. As it is a drainage divide, sometimes water is moving in one direction, sometimes in the opposite direction. The coarse vegetation shows an influence of nutrient-rich runoff from the golf course and the horse pastures.
Bluegrass Lane Meadow
The meadow is dominated by grasses, goldenrods, asters, white bedstraw (Galium mollugo), and hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.). Some rather wet areas are dominated by reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) and cattails. Parts of the meadow are growing up (succeeding) to common shrubs and small trees.