Sunday, April 9, 2017

From buckthorn jungle to oak savannah

Another day cutting buckthorn, this time at Forest Glen, a site new to me, and new to restoration. The buckthorn are so big here they are trees, big, thick trees. The goal is to turn the place back into prairie, rolling into oak savannah. I'm so excited! As you might recall , prairies are my jam.

I also enjoyed looking for tiny little sproutlings.

I was very proud of myself for recognizing these as trout lilies.

There were also spring avens, which are common but native, and loads of these low-to-the-ground spring plants with yellow flowers and which name I can't remember, dangit, but which are invasive and everywhere (anyone?). There were also the soft, fuzzy-leafed beginnings of what looked like mullein, which was brought over by Europeans for medicinal purposes. I wish I'd taken pictures of these things.

Chief Forest Preserve Friend, Josh Coles, showed me some other things growing there: cow parsnip, golden alexander. He said they'd put a seed mix a few weeks ago and some of the other tiny bladelike sprouts we were seeing were likely from that.

Little baby cow parsnip
Little baby golden alexander
We couldn't figure out what this is. Does anyone know?

The anticipation of spring is so fun, plant-wise. I'm looking forward to visiting and working at this site again, watching the plants we identified grow and change, and seeing what else comes up from the ground.

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