Sunday, May 24, 2009

Orchids and vanilla grass!

This weekend we finished up our Cypripedium candidum monitoring. It's amazing how well they do with a prescribed burn! There were many in this tiny railroad prairie, full of conservative species such as yellow star grass, hoary puccoon, vanilla grass  and blue-eyed grass. The spring weather was also more temperate and rainy, so perhaps that has some effect on the orchids. But the burn set back the brush, restored nutrients to the soil, and reduced the number of weed seeds. Next year, who knows?

Speaking of weed seeds, we saw a flock of goldfinches yesterday at Volo Bog, eating the seedheads of the abundant dandelions! I wish I had a flock of goldfinches in my yard, manicuring away at my dandelions! : ) We also saw way, way too much reed canary grass there in the bog. There are at least a dozen endangered and threatened species in a very small area, all vulnerable to takeover by this invasive alien plant! I alerted the state ecologist; hopefully that will help matters?

No comments: