Friday, May 25, 2007

Oh yeah, we rock. There's a mountain of garlic mustard waiting to be disposed of. At the orientation meeting the other night we heard about the six sites involved in the stewardship program this year and had a look at various invasive plants we'll be dealing with. We decided to switch the Beechwood night to Wednesday, so heads up, team members! You'll just have to tape So You Think You Can Dance. I noticed a few new people signing on for our site. Welcome to Beechwood wetland! As John (our fearless leader) said, "We have it all." Unfortunately, what he meant was, "We have garlic mustard, and dog-strangling vine, and knotweed, and phragmites ..."

This morning I went back to the area by the pond I'd worked on earlier in the season. There was a bit of garlic mustard I'd missed, perfectly obvious now that it's flowering, and a new crop coming up thick and fast. I worked away happily for a while, then suddenly realized I was not alone. I looked up to see a raccoon not just regarding me but making a beeline for me. Um, hi, I don't have any food in this bag, so scram. It wasn't intimidated by my shooing techniques, just kept coming straight at me. I could see it had a nasty wound on its tail, so I decided discretion is the better part of valour and moved to a different part of the site. Dang, I can't believe I was chased off by a raccoon! I wouldn't say it was aggressive, exactly -- let's say assertive. I saw it later dabbling in the pond, and got a few pictures. You can see the wound near the end of its tail, although you can't see how raw and bloody it looked. (A bit of dead grass is helpfully "circling" the area in question, in case you're having trouble seeing it.)

Here's a plant called Dame's Rocket. Isn't it lovely? I bet you can guess the rest of the story: it's not native, and it produces tons of seeds, so we'll be getting rid of it.

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