Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monitoring the blooming lupines

A crew from Bok Tower was out today to begin the monitoring of the blooming Scrub Lupine to gather some data on what's happening in the patch.

They were counting flower stalks and branches, measuring plants and counting seedlings.

Most of the 30 or so seedlings are in the road at least 100 feet from where the plants bloomed and put out seeds last year, so their origin is undetermined.

Nevertheless, they're a welcome addition to the population.

The older patch is pretty impressive this year. There are many large plants and all of them are in full bloom.

I've never seen a display like this, though I've heard of some following ground disturbance.

There's more monitoring scheduled in a couple of weeks to measure the other patch, which was planted later and has younger plants.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A bloom in every lupine patch

On the cusp of spring, lupines in all three patches in the preserve are blooming.

This is progress.

Not only are lupines blooming in the two planted patches. They are also blooming on both mature plants in one of the volunteer patches in another section of the preserve that was activated from the earlier pre-fire disturbance.

It will be interesting to see what kind of activity, if any, results from the burn.

The other lupine in the sandhill took a year to respond, but that was an accidental winter burn.

Meanwhile, there are about 20 seedlings around the older patch, which is encouraging because the thought is that they may all be the result of seeding from the first bloom there last spring.

I know the seeds are ejected from the flower clusters, but I don't how far or whether they may be carried by the wind or insects.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blueberries high and low

The lupines aren't the only plants in bloom at the preserve.

A week or so ago I ventured into the flatwoods/bayhead area to check on things and found low-bush and high-bush blueberries in bloom.

That's the first time I had noticed the high-bush species. A new, but unsurprising addition to the plant list is always welcome.

By the way, the fruit ripen around June, though they're small.

I came, I saw, I hoed

This year I'm trying again to get ahead of the Ceasar weed along th section of the fire land near the First Avenue gate.

My strategy is to look for seedlings and hoe them up or pull them up so that they don't mature and produce more seeds. I'm not sure how long this will take or whether it's feasible, but it's worth a try.
We got a head start during last Saturday's work day when some were removed.

Lupines begin blooming

I saw the first lupine blooms today. Last year they started blooming a week or so later so it's about right for the location, I guess. This is only the second year the plants have been old enough to bloom.

I also found a few more seedlings near the older planting area today and flagged them. I checked the older plants and now see its going to be a lot pinker spring this year than last. Two of the plants I discovered have buds, too, and should be in full bloom by the end of the month or so.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Keeping the pepper at bay

We had a great Ridge Rangers work day Saturday. We removed a bunch of Brazilian pepper that had sprouted along the fence line.

I asked for the work day because what pepper was inside the preserve has been gone for some time and I wanted to do what I could to reduce the chance of its reinvading.

I also persuaded Bill Parken, our Ridge Ranger coordinator, who cut the oak tree that blocked one of the haul paths.

We also got some trash picked up. It was a good day.

More on lupine seedlings

Sometimes a mundane explanation doesn't immediately come to you.

It occurred to me that the source of the new seedlings could be partly my own doing.

It occurred to me that the source could have been me or others picking up seeds in the soles of our shoes, which scarified them enough to make them sprout after they rubbed off our shoes and went into the soil.

I asked whether that was possible and was told it was. I guess more investigation could tell us more.