Friday, November 15, 2019

Butterfly list grows

The Garberia is in bloom all over the preserve, offering the main nectar source for pollinators in late fall in scrub.

This week I found a Monk Skipper, which is my first sighting of this species here.
It is the 56th butterfly species I have observed here during the past 17 years of monitoring the site.
That is a respectable number for a small site in the middle of an industrial /commercial/residential area.
Some other recent additions to the butterfly list included Three-spotted Skipper and Polydamas Swallowtail.

I also photographed a Polka Dot Wasp Moth on the Garberia.
This is a fairly common diurnal moth, but I can't recall whether I had seen one here.

Where do those golf balls come from?

I was walking through the south tract yesterday looking for Indian pipes when I found a golf ball.
I have found several of the these balls over the years, but their origin remains a mystery.
There is no golf course nearby. There is no driving range nearby.
The demographics of the surrounding neighborhood doesn't suggest there are any golfers.
I threw it into the fire lane and will pick it up later.
The weather is beginning to moderate and I thnk I will plan to resume work mining the windrows along the fire lane to recover more legacy trash.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Clitoria fragrans expands at last

I've been monitoring a small population of Clitoria fragrans in the southeast corner of the north tract for several years, but haven't seen much evidence of expansion.
That seems to have changed.
Today I saw what appeared to be three patches in the sandhill area.
I still haven't seen it blooming in awhile.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Longleat Pines Suddenly Dying

The mature Longleaf Pine trees in the north tract are suddenly dying. I haven't visited in about a month when they appeared to be healthy.
There had been some pine deaths a couple of years ago after a prescribed burn. There was a second prescribed burn in this area last year, but it was a cool burn and no mature trees were damaged.
That leaves disease or insects. The younger longleafs appear healthy for now. Sand pines are unaffected.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Brazilian Pepper Control Under Way

I found a stand of Brazilian pepper in the northwest corner of the tract and have been attacking it over the past week.
This plant has never been a major problem in the preserve, but with some control it can be kept that way.
I'll get back to recheck the cogon grass spots later on.
If I have time I may be going out to pull and bag Ceasarweed. Spring is the best time to attack it because the burrs have not set yet.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Spring Arrives Colorfully

I was out checking today and was struck by the beginning of some color spring blossoms besides the pawpaws, which had been blooming for a few weeks.

Now milkweeds, greeneyes, piriqueta, helianthemum, Britton's beargrass and snakeherb are blooming and Alicia appears close to blooming.

I also noticed that in response to last year's prescribed fire on the north end of the tract, Clitoria mariana is sprouting in places I had never seen it before.

I checked on the Clitoria fragrans, but haven't seen much change from the minuscule number of plants that have always been in the southeast corner of the north tract.
I'm also seeing some expansion of Praxelis. I'll have to keep an eye on it.
Earlier this week I spent a few hours digging cogon grass in the southeast section.

While I was out today, I saw a lot of insects buzzing around a blooming Hercules club, whose flowers were nearly spent and less fragrant than they area at their prime.
In the same area I noticed some Brazilian pepper have returned.
It will be cooler later this week so I can attack them then.
I also want to restore a narrow path around the bayhead for monitoring purposes.
Ridge Rangers 25th anniversary event is next Saturday. I have been asked to speak. Hope we have a good turnout. It will be good to see my friends.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A new plant species appears after fire

I have been searching the area that was burned last year for the emergence of wildflowers that the fire might have encouraged to sprout after some dormancy.
I have seen some species in new places as a result of the fire, but this week found a species I had never recorded here.
It is Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata), a fairly widespread species that I have been seeing occasionally this year, but never in great numbers as the other violet species around the area.