Saturday, January 24, 2009

Unburied batteries

Today I removed a couple of auto batteries that I discovered beneath some recently gyrochopped saw palmettos.

Yesterday I flushed a Whip-poor-will near the rear of the property. It appeared to be a female, perhaps the same one that was here a few years ago.

Friday, January 23, 2009

No century oaks, just century palmettos

I was out today calculating the age of a few of the Saw Palmettos on the preserve, based on a formula I learned recently.

Several of the palmettos I checked were more than 100 years old. That raises other questions. How long to do these plants live? How big can they become?

By the way, the ageing calculation was a revelation to me. I knew I had long=trunked palmettos, but I always ascribed that to the lack of fire. As it turns out, unless the fire is hot enough to kill the palmetto, it regenerates and continues to grow. The fire doesn't affect the measurement at all.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

More lupine coming!

I received word this week that more lupine plants may be brought to the preserve this spring from various sites from which seed has been harvested.

That's encouraging. So far the plants that were brought in last month seem to be surviving for the most part. A few have died, which is normal in any mass planting.

The test will be this spring, when the temperatures are consistently high and there's little rain, which increases the stress. Ryan Kordek at Lake McLeod tells me that's when his plants die the most.

I've beem promised some site prep help next time. I don't mind doing it, but it might be better if there were more planning next time. This is really important, I think, probably more important than I can totally grasp.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Time to do some mining

After I watered the lupine today, I took a walk around part of the perimeter to look for small pieces of trash exposed by the recent work.

I found a couple of places where there were larger accumulations. One of roofing materials and ther other appeared to have been an appliance. They were in the windrows I never bothered to mine before because lI wasn't sure it was worth the effort. Now I know.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A routine develops

I'm watering the lupine and expect to be for some time. Ryan Kordek told me that the critical time, even for established plants, is April and May when the temperature is consistenly warm and there's little precipitation.
The stress takes its toll, he told me.

I have used most of the first 400-gallon tank of water. I'm down to about 160 gallons and the low-government bid hose, which crimps a lot, is aggravating the flow situation.

It appears a couple of plants have already died, but that was expected, I guess. The rest appear healthy, but these
plants always appear healthy until they suddenly decline.

I've been doing more work removing Natal grass from a wider area around the planting site in hopes of controlling its spread. I'll have a better idea of how successful that is this spring.