Saturday, April 30, 2011

The burn and the Bonamia

I took a walk through the scrub during the past two afternoons in search of stray piles of trash (broken glass, etc.) that might be visible after some post-burn weathering of the soil.

During the walk I saw Bonamia beginning to bloom practically everywhere . It responded well to an accidental fire several years ago before the Natal grass came in.

That is still the unanswered question is whether Natal grass will become rife in more sections of the preserve as it has at the sites of the burn piles on the east side. Also, it's unknown whether it will persist or eventually be crowded out by native plants, as some claim. I don't know. Otherwise, we'll have to live with it. Treating it or pulling it on a landscape scale is impractical.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beetles are really back

Went out Tuesday night with Paul Skelley to look for beetles. We found at least 30 as well as a handful of what he calls "rain beetles" because they're only active when it's raining.
Rain was threatening Tuesday night, but only a trace fell in the area, despite the thunder and lightning in the near distance.

It is spring. I saw my first Common Nighthawk of the season soaring and diving overhead and heard a Chuck-will's-widow calling from the south woods, which is a different location from recent years.

I'm planning to go out tonight and try again for beetles in the south woods.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The beetles are back

I had been fruitlessly mon itoring for beetles for a researcher since late March with no luck. Thursday night one finally showed. Now that they're out,we'll see what the population is like. They didn't emerge last year and I was beginning to get worried this year, but we'll see. The Common Nighthawk that kept me companylast year didn't show. So far, no Chuck will's Widow is calling from the pines, though I flushed one the other day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Trash and sandspurs

Things are settling down for the warm post-winter season. I've been catching up on some low-key maintenance, consisting of removing a few small trash piles I've found and trying to rid the northern fire lane of sandspurs and Ceasar weed. I'll let you know how it turns out. Another sign of warm weather. I flushed a goatsucker, probably a Chuck will's widow by now. I'll listen for the call when I do my next night bug patrol, which is coming up this weekend.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Another wild lupine

I went out today to check on storm damage. The damage I saw was the utilities problems, not ours. While I was there, I decided to check on any change in the Lupine population. \ I found one near the younger Lupines I found last October. Perhaps more will emerge later.