The series of depressions and ponds you can see on this gravel highland are not natural. Examine the ground you are standing on. These sands and gravels are the outwash material deposited as a delta in glacial Lake Warren. Gravel was excavated from this site sometime before the 1980's and these ponds are the scars from that activity.
In spring and early summer there may still be open water in some of the ponds, supporting frogs and newts. Cattails (Typha spp.) are an indicator of open water that lasts for at least part of the growing season. They provide habitat for Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) that you can hear here from March to September making their distinctive “gurg-a-lee” call. In summer and fall you may see and even hear dragonflies hunting their prey of smaller insects. If you stand still and listen carefully when the leaves are on the trees you will hear the leaves of the Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees flickering in the wind. The “trembling” happens in the slightest breeze because the leaf stalk is flat and bends easily, causing the leaf to flutter. The Onondaga Indian name for this tree is Nut-ki-e which means “noisy leaf”.
Just in front of the sign are some Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) trees with distinctively bare “waists”. Since the scale-like leaves of White Cedar are evergreen, they provide browse for White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in winter when other food is scarce. The strange shape of these trees is as a result of browsing by deer.