Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lupines so far

Slowly, the Scrub Lupines are coming into bloom. As I wrote earlier, I don't have a clear idea how long it will take for those with buds to bloom. that will be part of monitoring.

I've been out for a few days, but when I returned today, I could see slow progress. I guess I'll have to be patient.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More rain overnight

This morning the rain gauge registered 0.85 inch.

Lupine count, more trash mining

One lupine flower is now in full bloom, but the rest are still nestled in their buds. I don't have a good idea how long the full flowering will take, but I'm willing to wait and find out.

Juliet from Bok is organizing a work day to tabulate the results in a couple of weeks. She said not only are some of the December 2008 plants blooming, but so is one of the 2009 plants. I guess plants can be eager, too.

Meanwhile, I've been combining plant checks with a renewed effort to dig out garbage along the northern fire lane. It looks as though I'll be busy for a while.

I probably should wait around until dusk to see what's calling. Last night I heard two Whip-poor-wills calling near my yard about a mile away.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rain, first pink petal

The rain gauge read 1.45 inches today from Sunday's rain.

When I checked the older plants, I found one pink petal poking from one of the buds observed
Saturday. Photos to come.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lupines are budding. Hooray!

I checked the older lupine planting today and noticed that buds were developing on some of the plants. I can't wait to see them in bloom.

This will be a milestone in the experiment. Buds+flowers+seeds=recruitment. At least that's the hope.

There was also light rain today, which helps with all of the plants' survival as spring and warmer temperatures arrive.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Outside the fence is ugly

I've been trying to do sometehing about the accumulation of trash in the right of way around the preserve through the annual Great American Cleanup.

You'd think I could clean up a roadside along a city block in a day. Wrong!
I spent about 10 hours along Avenue Q, which is on the south side of the southern tract. I got about a third of the way down the street and didn't get it all.

As it was, I filled 48 trash bags, collected 20 tires (some were from the roadside down the street, and a large pile of carpet before I ran out of steam.

Interestingly, I didn't get all of the steel cans and when I returned from a recycling run (20 of those bags were recyclables), there was a guy grabbing up the cans I'd missed, but drug out from the bushes.

I felt like the Little Red Hen, though I knew I'd made sure to get most of the iron by weight earlier. He didn't know it, but he just got the scraps.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The rest of the rain total

This afternoon I took a break from my Great American Cleanup labors nearby and checked the rain gauge. It read 1.3 inches since yesterday morning.

It was quite windy today, so the extra rain probably helped to protect the plants from the dessication windy days cause. Plants in both areas appeared generally healthy, though there was a dead solider in the northern area.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Some well-watered lupines

I checked the rain gauge at the planting this morning. It read 2.35 inches, which means no more hand-watering this week.

Plantings looked good and undisturbed. So far, so good.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Planting went well and quickly

(FWC Photo)

The lupine planting went well today. About 35 volunteers showed up. The work occurred smoothly.

The lupines were planted in rows and GPSed to match the tags with the locations.

Paul from The Natives brought in a portable tank to water the plantings. Rain is forecast for this evening and tomorrow.

Watch this space for rainfall reports either from the Lake Blue gauge or my home gauge about 1 mile to the east.

People on hand today included Jack Stout and Sharon Kane, both of whom have done lupine field research. Scrub lupine is, I believe, one of Stout's specialities.

Lupine planting today

I'm heading out to the preserve shortly to help with the planting of 700 new lupine plants from Bok Tower.

This is in a new location, but close enough for the two populations to crosspollinate, I've been told.

The other strategy is to move the plantings farther from the residential areas to reduce the likelihood of vandalism, which plagued the first planting.

The big issue is managing the watering. This is going to be a shared task and will be coordinated with rainfall, so we don't overwater or leave the plants susceptible to stress by underwatering.

Spring is a cruel season sometimes for plants because the temperatures (and evapostranspiration) increases, but the rainfall can be sparse. This was supposed to be a wet El Nino winter, but it hasn't turned out that way so far and we can't count on long-term weather predictions.

The big hope is perhaps we'll see some blooms this spring from the first planting.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

McFarlin ex Beckner call

I got a call the other day from John Beckner, author of the Lupinus aridorum description. He was looking for information on blooming lupine. He said it's possible some of the Lake Blue lupine might bloom this year, which would be wonderful.

He's working with a woman who is assembling a photo collection of scrub plants and others.

I hope to be able to meet him. I gather he's rather old, so there may not be a lot of time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The windrows again

It looks like it's archeology time again.

The windrows that were pushed up last year when the fire lane was widened, which was badly needed, have weathered enough to expose more trash. As I have time, I'll be going down the line and moving the debris to get at the trash and leveling the mounds.

In a perfect world, I suppose, that debris could be assembled in a burn pile somewhere, but fire-safe locations are tricky on that side, so the bugs will feast instead.