05-16-14 Field Note

Block title

05-16-14 Field Note

May 16, 2014

Jeff Clarke's Field Note details restoration efforts in Patridge Alley, wild asparagus, and Columbian ground squirel babies.

PDF icon Download (3.77 MB)

Field Note May 14th, 2014, by Jeff Clarke

Weeds dominate the stretch of Partridge Alley above the dump and below the spring. We decided to clean it up.

We removed and burned all of last year’s weeds. This exposed several large planted trees. We removed their restrictive plastic exclosures and placed a large metal one around the whole area. We also sprayed all the emerged weeds.

Elk and spring runoff destroyed several exclosures a little farther up the draw at the spring.

We added a large metal exclosure here too.

Within the new exclosure, we built a shallow pool and filled it with willow cuttings. We hope this area will soon harbor healthy trees, amphibians and birds instead of wallowing elk and weeds.

German madwart onceT chheo fkieeldd tchree wlo wer woodchuck drainage. Three years of herbicide applications put the weed into retreat. Last week the crew cleaned up a few small remnant patches. We will continue to monitor the area for new growth. This year we will seek and destroy new patches of the gnarly vine.

Last year we sprayed the spurge that covered this entire hillside. Little re-grew. Over the next few weeks, we will re-canvas areas we sprayed last year and clean up holdouts.

Mike Henning finished the thinning project for now. We will use the wood to stop erosion in the draws and diversify habitat.

We added 43 bluebird boxes across the higher elevations of the ranch. Birds fill many of the boxes placed in previous years.

In the fall of 2012 I picked a few hundred native asparagus berries and sent them to Christine Brissette at Watershed Consulting in hopes that she could make a few of them grow. She propagated seven hundred plants. This spring Watershed Consulting planted all the asparagus plugs this spring before they emerged from dormancy. Yesterday this four speared plant reached for the sky.

Columbian ground squirrel babies display much more curiosity than their wiser parents. I’m sure the badger that dug these new holes took advantage of the youngster’s lack of wisdom.

Green leaves burst from the floodplain’s cottonwood forests.

Serviceberries boast spring blossoms.

Raptor Surveyors concluded their spring migration count this week.