Saturday, May 30, 2009

Looking for white sand

I began clearing the gyrochopping debris from the open areas when I could find them.
The fact is that without digging up some trees, the open areas will remain small because of normal plant succession/regeneration. A more radical approach may eventually be necessary. Perhaps the best time to do it is while the trees are small and the western burn piles are still unburned.
Work stopped while I paused to collect a rather large (55 mm) beetle that came walking into one of the cleared areas. It's a Cerambycid of some sort, I was told. It's in the freezer.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Checking out rain's effects

The one fear I've had about the unseasonable rain was the growth spurt of exotics. I wasn't paranoid. I found quite a bit of Natal grass scattered around the preserve. However, I also encountered a spray crew that was dosing the fire lane to suppress emergent vegetation (Read Cogon grass, Natal grass, Guinea grass, Ceasar weed) exactly as promised by FWC.

Hope it works.

While I was there I also checked out the landscape for the clear patches project. which will involve raking up the gyrochopping debris to provide clear spaces for desirable plants to take root.

It seems I need two things. Enough open spaces where oaks haven't already moved back in and a place to pile the stuff I rake up. It has occured to me the idea dump site might be a punch of oaks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain

The relentless rain that arrived shortly after the McFarlin's lupine planting was just what the plants needed, I guess. The Bok folks seemed to think the moisture was good. I guess once the sun comes out again, perhaps this weekend, there be a respite.

I guess I'm wondering if the rain will give the exotics a head start, too. I need to check soon to find out.

A control program is planned. The only question is whether it will occur in time to provide any effective control.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A cut lock, a stuck vehicle

I noticed today that someone had stolen the lock and chain from the southwest gate in the south tract and had opened the gate and tried to drive in.

Judging from the evidence, it doesn't look as though they got very far. There were too deep ruts in the sane just inside the gate and a concrete block and a metal pipe that may have been used to get the vehicle unstuck.

I'll dig around for the chain.

The Lupine Thief

This isn't exactly material for Susan Orlean, but today when we went out to plant the next batch of McFarlin's lupine, we noticed to our horror that someone had dug up some of the plants and taken the identification tags as well.

I don't know whether we'll figure this one out, but it will certainly cause a little more surveillance of this place. Maybe we'll install a webcam.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Moonlight and broken glass

It was a full moon last night. I finished the beetle survey and as I was heading back the moonlight caught the glass shards that dot the landscape. It was not the kind of diamonds in the rough you look forward to seeing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Beetles about done, it seems

I continued beetle monitoring last night, but had only one at the light and it was lethargic. After flying around a little, it just sat there clinging to the sheet.

I heard both a Chuck-will's-widown and a Common Nighthawk.

While I was walking around looking for flying beetles and checking things out, I found more trash.

Digging, digging, digging

It started out innocently. There was a piece of metal sticking out of the fire lane. I thought I could pull it out. I couldn't. I thought I could quickly dig it out. I couldn't.

Three visits and about six hours of digging later, I unearthed several pieces of metal that would have been easier to pull out if a lawnmower hadn't been buried on top of them. The hole was big enough for my coffin. What a job.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lupine X 2

An additional 200 McFarlin's lupine will be planted on May 14, according to Cheryl Peterson. I began clearing some more space for the plantings and have sent out e-mails to potential volunteers to help with planting.

The next planting is so there can be some cross-pollination between the two populations to prevent inbreeding. Cheryl told me they have permission to collect some more seeds from the CSX property this spring. I told her I didn't think anything would be happening there very quickly.

Finding more bugs in more places

I spent some time last night with the bug light in the northeast corner near the lupine planting. I had 10 beetles! That was the most I've had in a week or so. I may have hit another hot spot.