Friday, July 03, 2009

There's always been poison ivy alongside the path on the way to Beechwood, but I haven't seen any on the site yet. Today, however, I found some getting dangerously close.

I pulled tansy and Queen Anne's lace for an hour or more, stopping to talk to several people who wondered what I was up to. This peachy little moth was resting on a tansy stalk:

Looks like a leafcutter bee (or a bunch of them) has been busy. I saw several little roses like this one:

After I'd hauled away a few loads of tansy I decided I'd wrap up my visit by having a look around the site. I've spent so much time in one spot lately, working on the tansy invasion, that I have no idea what's going on anywhere else. (Beechwood doesn't seem like a very big place when I describe it to people, but just try to keep on top of it by yourself!)

Near the equipment box I spied a few motherwort plants (wonderful pictures on that page, go have a look) and thought I'd pull them out while I had a moment.

This one was engaged in a struggle with a grapevine:

Motherwort is not a big problem at Beechwood, but it doesn't hurt to stay on top of these things. It's easy to pull, with the roots coming out smoothly along with a clump of earth. I pulled the few I saw, then looked around and saw a few more. That led to a few more, and another little clump over there, and oh, there's a whole stand of it, and that brought me to the base of our big old bur oak, where I discovered a whole forest of thistles. The number of thistles was unbelievable, unimaginable, unprecedented, ungodly, unheard of ...

I fell to work at once and pulled steadily for half an hour or so, making only a small dent in the thistle patch. This is a particularly ant-infested area, making invasives-removal even better exercise than usual due to the amount of dancing around and foot-stamping required. I hauled a few bedsheet-loads of thistles to the dumping pile and resolved to return another day. I also found a number of burdock plants here, so I'll be cutting the tops off those to keep them from reproducing. The tansy will just have to wait a while, as will my walkabout to see what's going on everywhere else.

Another plant I've tackled lately is crown vetch:

As usual, this is a lovely thing, but if you let it get established ...

We don't have much at Beechwood but I've noticed more this year than in the past, so I thought I'd better deal with it now. The plan was to spend a few minutes pulling it out before I got back to my "real" work. Ha! I spent one whole visit ousting crown vetch and there's still more waiting for me.

On my way home this morning I noticed the mystery steward has been to the Pottery Road hill again. Some more DSV has been removed and this burdock has been topped:

Way to go, mystery steward!


Andrew's Reclaimed said...

excellent photography, and these are definitely leafcutter bees. I love the way they work, like little elctric can openers!

Marnie said...

Ha, that's exactly what I said when I saw one at work a few years ago -- it's like a little can opener!