Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bagging more trash

I stopped by late this afternoon to grab some of the trash I had found but hadn't had an opportunity to carry out over the past few weeks. I was pleased that I found everything I was looking for, even in the twilight.

The sand torches are blooming in the cleared area. I counted nearly half a dozen as I was walking through. I've got to figure out a way to do a late afternoon photo shoot against the westering glow on the silhouetted tree line.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A clean fire lane, for now

I used a heavy rake to clean pine needles and other debris from a section of the north fire lane by First Avenue this afternoon. Now the test will be to find out whether this improves maintenance chores or makes them more difficult.

Also, I found where my berry picker had apparently been working. Instead of simply gleaning the berries from the stalk, he clipped the stalks and then cleaned the berries into his bags. Very efficient, but I'm not sure what it does to the plants.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oro y plata

Now that fall is near, the Silver-spotted Skipper is more in evidence, based on some recent forays into the wild. It is one of the most stirking species. However, its name is incomplete. It has gold spots as well.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Monitoring a less cluttered landscape

I had a chance Friday to spend the day with a crew from Archbold Biological Station to monitor random plots at Lake Blue where the gyrochopping occurred in June.

I was pleased to learn there are more Liatris than I had been able to locate when the area was heavily wooded. I had gone out with a GPS the day before and had been able to relocate most of the ones I had previous found in this area, which were very few near the northern edge.

I was told there is some interest in using fire instead of an air-curtain incinerator. Fire creates more smoke, but it doesn't involve digging a trench and running equipment across the landscape again. I guess I'll see how that discussion plays out.

I'm happy the site is finally getting some attention and am glad I was able to contribute a little to that fact.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sawberries and snapper

Confiscated palmetto berries,

I stopped by to check on things and to continue Natal grass control, but things have a way of getting interesting. There were motorcycle tracks and I followed them until they played out and then cut over to the overgrown "fire lane" on the north side and found an impressive collection of stake knives and kitchen knives in the grass. As I stumbled out, I encountered two full bags of saw palmetto berries and then saw two more. I called FWC Lt. Birge and reported it. He said to dump them on site. When I went back I saw the guy, told him it was illegal and asked him to leave. He left, but had hauled one bag to the gate in my absence and tried to con me in to thinking he had collected it in the right of way. I got his tag number, phoned it in and then went back to dump the berries and camoflagued the dump sites.

On one of my trips out, I saw my second Snapping Turtle in six years here. Both have been younger critters, not full size. Is this a route for these guys between water bodies or what? Also, flushed a Great Horned Owl. Need to come out here more often at dusk.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

May get fire after all

I talked to Eric Menges from Archbold today. He told me he had been trying to persuade Mike McMillan at FWC to reconsider plans to use the air curtain incinerator, since it would involve digging a trench or trenches to burn the debris. That could cause unnecessary ecosystem damage

I guess the challenge will be smoke management because the incinerator is a high-temperature, low-opacity burn and the other is not. He said he may be able to get Sticky and company to do it. They're good.