Thursday, March 31, 2016

South tract paths are future fire lanes, FWC says

I received an answer that the clearing was, as I suspected, part of the management  plan and not something else.
I was told it is a prelude to a future prescribed fire.
The site has never been burned in modern times and has fewer open areas than the north tract.
It has different vegetation, too.
The only good patch of Rosemary, which will regenerate after the fire, is in the south tract. So is most of the Polygonella basiramia, though most of it's in the north fire lane next to Stewart Auto Repair.
According to some FNAI data I received when I first started volunteering, there's an old (1950s) record for Carter's Warea on this section. Perhaps the fire will bring it out if the seed bank is still here.
On the other hand, there is no Bonamia grandiflora and very little Nolina brittonia in this section, at least in its unburned state.
This site appears to have a much larger population of Polyphylla starkae than the north tract, but that impression is based solely on one year's  incidental observation. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

You CAN get there from here

Last year I discovered a path that was cleared through the south tract.
I asked about it and was told it was a mistake and would not recur.
That was then, this is now.
While I was leading a field trip last weekend, I discovered not only had the trail been recleared, but additional trails had been cleared to connect to various points along the four fire lanes.
I have not had a chance to learn the purpose, though it seems this is part of some kind of new management strategy.
I guess I was most amazed that someone the equipment missed an interesting pile of concrete debris that lies in the general area where some of the paths cross in the northeast section of the south tract.
I found a few pieces of litter that I had not encountered before. I'll return to collect them and probably mine the windrows that were piled up from the last fire lane work.
If nothing else, this makes monitoring the site somewhat easier.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The preserve is getting visitors

Visitors are rare here.
So,  whenever they do select this site, I like to be a good host.
On the eve of the spring equinox, some friends from the Suncoast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society are coming to visit.
I had been invited to speak to this group last year about the Scrub Lupine recovery efforts and related topics.
I hope flowering plants are a little more in evidence by then, but I expect they'll enjoy the opportunity to visit and explore a new natural area. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lupine season is slow this year

Volunteers from Bok Tower are coming next week to conduct annual monitoring of the lupine population.

I have been checking for seedlings over the past month. This has not been a very productive year. I don't know why. It was a warmer-than-normal winter and has been wet a times,. but I don't know how that has affected anything.

One seedling has emerged in the patch that came up from disturbance from gyrotracking.