Sunday, January 27, 2008

Maintenance day drudge work

It stopped raining and it wasn't too cold, so I headed out to do some maintenance work. I came out with a bag of Cogon, a bag of Natal, a bag of Brazilian and a bag of trash.

An air potato pickup work day is planned for next Saturday. By the way the latest issue of Florida Wildlife magazine had a photo of yours truly as well as my many other hard-working Ridge Range colleagues. We work hard and it's great to be recognized.

The sun is finally out this afternoon. I may do some photography.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dreaming of scrub lupine

I went out today with Nancy Bissett to look for McFarlin's lupine in the Pollard Road area. It is there. The question is what to do about it.

Some of it is on the 100-foot-wide CSX right of way.

Some of it is on the property that will be used to build additional tracks.

There is additional scrub--badly overgrown-- on property between Pollard Road and the tracks owned by Winter Haven and planned as the site of a new park. Lupine (we also found Lupinus diffusus) could pop up there, too, when the land is cleared.

There is also scrub on the other side of the track on property owned by the Atkins family, but it's unclear whether any lupine is there since we did not have permission to enter., though it was clear there were other listed plants, such as Bonamia grandiflora, Polygonella basiramia and Polygonella myriophyllla.

I wonder whether the seeds from any of these plants could end up being used at Lake Blue to establish another population on protected and half-assed managed land.

Cogon grass cleanup

Stopped by the south tract in p.m. to bag a small patch of cogon grass near the southwestern corner that has popped back from the herbiciding. I also cleared some of the guinea grass etc. that had sprouted in my terraforming work area. I'd still like to plant something there to keep the weeds down if we ever get dependable rainfall again.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Burn or be burned

It's going to be a bad fire season because of the drought and the freezes. There's a lot of dead vegetation out there. The latest freeze zapped the Ceasarweed, which is rife in some of the fire lanes, and some of the other stuff. There's ankle-deep pine needles in the forest on the north side of the preserve next to the aging mobile homes and overgrown fire lane.

A lightning strike could be disastrous, despite its ecological benefits. People could lose everything they own, which doesn't appear to be much. That would be sad.

Prescribed burns are controversial at the moment and probably politically difficult, but the alternative is ugly. I hope my fears are overblown.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

There is no fire lane

I walked the perimeter today. I had a machete. I needed it. Except for the area I cleared on teh west side of the south tract recently, there is essentially no fire lane. Trees are growing into the former fire lane. Where trees are absent, tall or thick vegetation is. One of these days something horrible is going to happen and a lot of fingers will be pointing, but they won't be pointiong at me. I have warned them repeatedly.

For the record, the north tract's fire lane has been brush hogged exactly once since the property was acquired five or six years ago. The south tract fire lane has never been brush hogged. The results are inevitable.

This photo shows how close the homes are to the unfiresafe unfirelane.

You read it here first.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Time for another cleanup

I finished the last of the fence line clearing on the south side of the north tract today. The work provided a better view of the garbage that still remains to be picked up in the right of way. This is a project that may be appropriate for the next Great American Cleanup.