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Old 04-01-2012, 11:32 AM   #61
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So where's your entries for the month Dapjwy? Surely something has caught your interest.
I see some mighty fine tiarrela blossoms and butterflies linrose has set waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over in the blooming thread that are
PLENTY worthy as entries.
Thanks, havalotta, for your interest. Actually, I did plan on adding a bumble or two collecting pollen from the pussy willow, but I've been busy and distracted lately. We were gone all day yesterday, and I went nearly straight to bed after getting home.

So, when I saw the date this morning, I realized I missed my chance. Oh well, there are a lot of worthy entries, so missing a few from me is no biggie.

I see I'm not alone...linrose hasn't been entering hers either.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:37 AM   #62
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If weather shots are permitted, I'd like to include this one. I took this after a roll cloud passed, very dramatic light underneath it.

I took this basically across the street from my house.

John
Excellent shot! ...and what a great place to live near! Consider yourself lucky to have such a space near you.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:45 AM   #63
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They let the property go wild for the most part, although they did plant a weird mix of trees on some of it, that's what you see in the distance in that shot. The close trees are volunteers. It's pretty weedy, not much in the way of native plants other than a few of the tough ones that can slug it out with Eurasian weeds.
It is amazing how "natural" a place can look in a picture...I'm sure it is still a huge improvement over what else grows nearby...I'm glad you have a greenbelt near you. Also, to the general public (and me as well aparently), it must look quite natural. I do, however, notice that I'm always spotting how few natives and how many invasives are growing in "wild" areas around here...I'm sure Jeff gets tired of me commenting on it any where we go. There is a thread somewhere about how our knowledge of and ablility to recognize natives and invasives affects our enjoyment of natural areas.

Beautiful shot anyway.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:54 AM   #64
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Yes, I know what you mean. If it's a field of Eurasian weeds, it can look quite natural, especially from a distance, but I have little enthusiasm for an area like that, as far as the plants go. But you're right, it's better than what surrounds it. Even though the plants are mostly non-native, it provides habitat for tons of native animals, and it's still a decent place for a walk. You never know what kind of animal life you might see.

There are a few tougher native plants in the fields by my home though. Gray Coneflower manages to thrive among the weeds, Black-eyed Susans too, and there are lots of native Wild Strawberry colonies. You'll occasionally see other tough natives too.

The fields have their moments too when the non-native flowers are blooming, such as Oxeye Daisy, Deptford Pinks and the occasional European Bellflower colony, although I haven't seen Bellflower in recent years. Sulfur Cinquefoil is another pretty non-native that grows in the fields. At times, they look a bit like what I imagine a European meadow might look like, sort of. There used to be a lot of European Lythrum around the wet spots, but the forest preserve district introduced a beetle here that eats it, and there's currently not much of it left, seems to be under control.

The new, really bad ones here are the invasive Phragmites and Canary Reed Grass. We also have a hybrid Cattail that's apparently a cross between native and non-native parents that's a real aggressive problem. We're fighting that at Bartel. Perhaps our toughest one here is Leafy Spurge. It's got a root system like a prairie plant, so herbicides can't seem to kill it. The upper parts of the plant and root system die, but it
comes back from the deep roots.

Edit: There is one small area that has a few prairie things in it due to me transplanting plugs from an existing prairie patch across the street from the fields. In 1978, someone bought a one-acre lot that was prairie and began building a house on it, so I went in ahead of the bulldozer and dug plugs and transplanted them across the street into the forest preserve property (illegal, but I didn't know it at the time), so there are Blazing Stars (Liatris aspera), Rattlesnake Master and a little bit of Compass Plant in one small area there now. I like to stop and check out the plants in August when the Blazing Stars are blooming. They've spread quite a bit since 1978, which is very gratifying.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #65
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Yes, I know what you mean. If it's a field of Eurasian weeds, it can look quite natural, especially from a distance, but I have little enthusiasm for an area like that, as far as the plants go...Sulfur Cinquefoil is another pretty non-native that grows in the fields...
I know what you mean...I'm not crazy about those types of areas when I see what is actually growing in them. I do remember thinking that the sulfur cinquefoil was pretty...I still do, but I have no desire to include it in what I want to be a native meadow.

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Edit: There is one small area that has a few prairie things in it due to me transplanting plugs from an existing prairie patch across the street from the fields. In 1978, someone bought a one-acre lot that was prairie and began building a house on it, so I went in ahead of the bulldozer and dug plugs and transplanted them across the street into the forest preserve property (illegal, but I didn't know it at the time), so there are Blazing Stars (Liatris aspera), Rattlesnake Master and a little bit of Compass Plant in one small area there now. I like to stop and check out the plants in August when the Blazing Stars are blooming. They've spread quite a bit since 1978, which is very gratifying.
I'm glad to hear that what you planted has spread. You could collect seeds from them and propagate to spread the local population.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:12 AM   #66
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We do. People from another nearby prairie restoration that has a similar, clay hilltop to work on collect seed there, so the local seed bank is being preserved and spread. At Bartel, we don't have that kind of soil/hydrology anywhere on the site, so we don't collect there.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:34 PM   #67
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We do. People from another nearby prairie restoration that has a similar, clay hilltop to work on collect seed there, so the local seed bank is being preserved and spread. At Bartel, we don't have that kind of soil/hydrology anywhere on the site, so we don't collect there.
Well, I'm happy to hear that the seedbank is well preserved and spread...thanks to you for saving those original plants from destruction.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:06 AM   #68
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Thanks, but back in 1978 when I was a total beginner, I had no idea that what I was doing was anything other than hopefully saving some attractive wildflowers. I had no concept of seedbanks or preserving local DNA.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:50 PM   #69
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Thanks, but back in 1978 when I was a total beginner, I had no idea that what I was doing was anything other than hopefully saving some attractive wildflowers. I had no concept of seedbanks or preserving local DNA.
But you did good!
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:34 AM   #70
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Where's sage>>>>? I just realized hava announced the winner for this month... not sage.
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