Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lake Blue nature tour in 2011

During a preliminary brainstorming session today about a planned multi-day nature festival in Polk County next year, one of the possible field trips that was discussed was bringing people to Lake Blue.

It is one of the few Winter Haven Ridge preserves there are.

It was on the vanguard of the Scrub Lupine recovery effort and by next year it will be clearer how that's going.

It demonstrates the challenge of managing scrub in an urban environment. The mechanical treatment is still controversial it seems, since I was told last weekend that there are no plans to repeat that in the south tract. There are still rumors of fire for the cleared sections of the north tract.

It also will present a chance to see some scrub plants and familiarize people wioth scrub in general in a quick and convenient way.

Nothing's committed yet, but it's an interesting idea.

Gleaning among the glass

Now that the fire lane has been disked again and it has rained for a few days, I took advantage of the two to attend to a chore I have ignored mostly up until now on any scale.

That involves going down a section of fire lane and picking up all of pieces of glass and any other debris I can spot. Late afternoon is good because the light shows up on the glass that's sticking out and makes it easier to see.

In addition, in one spot it was obvoious there was a lot of debris just below the ground's surface, so I gently dug around and unearthed quite a bit.

After I was done, I filled a five-gallon bucket twice with debris from along the site of Hobbs Road in front of the preserve, but didn't get everything.

I'll be back.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fire lane open again

I stopped by this afternoon for the first time in a week or so to find the fire lanes had been disked again.

I spent about an hour picking up exposed trash along the first 100 yards or so. I filled three trash bags and two 5-gallon buckets.

i was thinking of coming through with a strong rake and seeing what other trash near the surface I could churn up to clean up the area while it is still open.

The fact that the work was done so quickly after I mentioned it to Bill Parken at FWC was also encouraging. This site really needsa good fire lane because the homes are so close and most of them are mobile homes that would go up pretty quick if the flames reached them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lupine program Saturday will include Lake Blue

I'm looking forward to a program Saturday at Bok Tower that will provide an update on the Scrub Lupine project.

The plantings at Lake Blue, which were the pioneer effort, will be included in the discussion. I'm told more plantings are planned elsewhere in Polk and in Orange County and perhaps in Lake County.

This is an important element of the recovery plan, which envisions establishing several populations.

We're still early in this. For instance, one thing to watch will be whether any recruitment occurs. We'll be looking next spring.