Friday, May 30, 2008

Let's ignore the fact that I skipped the third Beechwood evening because it was raining and extra cold -- although several stalwart stewards did show up and defeat more garlic mustard -- and turn our attention to this week, when Sarah from LEAF came to teach us about identifying trees. Being fairly hopeless at this, I was happy to attend the workshop, and I learned some useful things (which I will have forgotten by June if I don't write them down here):

*MADHORSE: This reminds me that the trees I'm most likely to see around here with opposite (as opposed to alternate) leaves are Maple, Ash, Dogwood and Horse Chestnut.

*That big tree by the Beechwood signs is an American Elm. Huh!

*Leaves from red oaks have pointy lobes -- remember the devil with those red pointy horns -- and leaves from white oaks have rounded lobes. Here's an example of some pointy oak leaves:

If only I had thought to snap some rounded ones to illustrate the difference. Another day. Many thanks to Sarah and LEAF for the great info. I'll have to start carrying my Trees of Ontario with me and actually using it.

I went back this morning to continue a little project I started last year, clearing "the point" (properly called "Marnie's Point," just waiting for the official plaque) of garlic mustard. I spent a lot of time at this last spring, and was curious about what I'd find this year. Would it be GM-free, or completely overrun? Somewhere in the middle, I discovered, with enough of the stuff to keep me busy for an hour and a half, but certainly much less than last year. I'm optimistic. I also cut down a lot of Japanese knotweed here last year, and of course it's returning as thick as ever, but I'll keep at it.

This little guy kept me company as I worked:

The sumacs we planted last fall are coming along pretty well:

Alas, so is the Japanese knotweed forest we keep cutting down:

There's a yellow jacket hard at work in the always-entertaining equipment box. I'm thinking this spells trouble for us later in the season:

Stay tuned for exciting updates!

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