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.

Monday, January 28, 2019

More Cogon Grass Appears


While I was out today collecting some trash and checking on the status of lupine seedlings I noticed a new patch of Cogon Grass.
It was growing at the edge of the scrub along an area that had been bush-hogged earlier this year.
I don't know whether it arrived via the mowing equipment or blew in from a nearby infestation along Recker Highway.
I need to deal with it before it expands.

Lupine Season Slowly Begins

Scrub Lupine seedlings are beginning to appear at the preserve.
I checked today following a rainy weekend to collect more small pieces of trash in the disturbed sand.
I brought flags in case some lupines had emerged.
When I checked last week, there was little to see.

One surprise was to find some seedlings in the area north of the planting area that had been disked a few months ago
I also found two seedlings in the area where I discovered lupines from an old seed bank unrelated to the seedlings from Bok Tower that make up the main body of the lupine population.
Meanwhile, last week additional seedlings and pots containing seeds were brought to the preserve.
There are no mature plants in the preserve now, so there will be no flowers or new seeds this year.