Tom's Blog

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sometimes I am wrong!

I re-read some of the posts I made last January and discovered that one of my predictions was wrong.

At that time our contractor was clearing the East Basin of all the trees and brush, returning it to its 1937 state (as determined by the air photo from that year). I commented that once the 4.2 acre site was cleared, we were planning to leave it and see what came up before we started restoring the herbaceous layer.

In my January 2, 2008 post I predicted that nothing good would come up. I commented that the site had probably been grazed and all the prairie plants would be gone. I opined that because there would be nothing good, we would probably spray the whole site with glyphosate and start over.

Well, as two of my later posts stated, we did find lots of good plants in this basin, even though the site had been shaded by large trees and brush for many years. Shooting stars were especially prolific (see photo), but there were many other "good" species. This made me conclude that the site had probably not been grazed, which makes sense, because this isolated unit was far from the barn, and access was blocked by neighbor's land.

So now I have to rethink what we will do with this unit. We will obviously have to plant it with seeds collected elsewhere on the Conservancy, which means we must start to formulate a seed-collecting protocol, making sure we get all the needed species when they are available. However, we won't have seeds for most of the species we will be planting until November. In the meantime, we must continue our plan of spraying all of the invasive plants as they appear. So we will probably be back two or three times this summer with backpack sprayers.

Frankly, I am pleased my prediction was wrong. In retrospect, I understand why I was wrong. Now we can move ahead with restoration of this interesting area.


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