Friday, October 31, 2008

Gyrochopped again

Stopped by late this afternoon and discovered that the Gyrotrack had been in again and clear-cut most of the area west of the path in the north tract.

I'm happy the site's finally getting some attention. I'll be interested to see what things look like next spring.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The fire next week

I stopped by to take photos of fall wildflowers and discovered that a worker from FWC was making burn piles of the downed trees. He told me the plan is to burn next week, weather permitting. Apparently that's the only burn option for which they can get a permit, he told me. There is a growing fire danger because of the drought, so I can understand that.

He also told me that someone had cut the lock on the front gate and made it look as though it was still intact. My number one suspect is the berry picker, but it's hard to say.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pink curls

Today I ran across something that seems unusual. It is a Blue Curls (Trichostema). The unusual thing about it is the flower is pinkish instead of deep blue. Pigments sometimes go astray, I guess. I thought it was worth noting. Darwin would have understood.
This is a widespread plant and they are blooming now (I had one out of sequence last spring) and put on quite a show.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm next to the city limits

I was looking at the property ownership maps today to see who the northern neighbors are and decided to look at the aerial layer and kept going west and made a discovering. The notch outside the west fence that TECO owns is inside the Auburndale city limits, but the preserve is not.

I can't think of any advantage except maybe that Auburndale could claim the place as a natural area in its growth plan. Who knows, the city may map it conservation or at least try.

More ATVs, liatris sprouts etc.

It's always something. I discovered that someone had driven a large-wheeled ATV around recently and tracked the origin to a fence break in back of one of the neighbors' homes on First Avenue. I got the same old story I had received from the other neighbors, which was that someone else did it while they weren't home. Yeah, right. Anyway, a repaired the fence and put up some brush blocking the access. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I walked the fence line and found the cogon grass outside the fence by the substation has exploded, as I was afraid it would. It will need herbicide treatment, I think. I also thinned out any Ceasar weed I found along the back fence line, but will have to go out and take care of Chinese tallow.

It wasn't all bad news, however. I noticed a new Scrub Liatris has sprouted along the path and is in bloom. That's something.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cogon folllowup

I went out late this afternoon and collected four bags of cogon grass. I didn't get it all, but I made a dent in it, I think. Also found a small shed snake skin and a small amount of trash. A PCSO deputy was parked down the street, which meant I didn't have to worry about the dirt bikes. However, I have not seen any evicence of recent incursions. Maybe they finally got the message.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cogon and friends back

While I was out on the gyrochopped landscape today, I noticed Cogon grass had returned to an area where it had been removed last year. I guess I'll have to deal with it again. The exotics (Cogon, Natal, Ceasar, Momordica) are becoming rank in places. I'm even having second thoughts about fire because it could make things worse. It's not my call, though.

One bright spot. Despite the kids from the neighborhood being out Sunday p.m., they stayed outside with their motorcyle this time. That's something. I also found a new pair of goggles that someone had dropped. I needed a new pair anyway.