Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Post-Irma Report From Preserve

I'm still finding some effects from Hurricane Irma, though there was no serious damage.
I found a couple of downed pine trees in the north tract.
The disturbance of the vegetation also exposed a tire lodged in some palmettos that I had never found before. I removed it.
I have made a few checks of the south tract and have found no damage so far.
I also saw some flagged areas that may indicate the boundaries of the next burn units.
Another observation is that for some reason fall wildflowers are only slowly appearing.
One plant that is notable by its absence is Scrub Blazing Star, which is usually common along the north-south path in the middle of the preserve. This year I have seen only two.
The only thing that has changed is that there was some bush-hogging that may have been preparation for a future burn by preparing a wider gap in the vegetation. The effect, as usual with this kind of mechanical work, has been to encourage the proliferation of Natal grass.
It is possible the Natal grass has outcompeted the Liatris.