07-01-14 Field Note

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07-01-14 Field Note

July 1, 2014

Jeff Clarke's Field Note describes knapweed bio controls, a flower crab spider, and mock orange blossoms.

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Spring flowers bloom, weeds removed, trees protected and crab spider June 29th, 2014

The crew continues to remove spurge infestations. The yellow shapes show treated areas.

We added two buck and rail exclosures in Tongue Creek. The new exclosures will protect mock orange, chokecherries and wild rose from the hungry elk herd this winter.

Also in Tongue Creek, we pile slash around some of this years planted trees and shrubs. The added woody debris will shade the new plants, provide a buffer from ungulates and increase soil moisture.

The Orchard House’s resident robins raised two clutches this year. Even though the youngsters can fetch their own food, they still squawk at their mom whenever she finds a meal.

 Mock orange flowers bloom. The fragrant blossoms make for a sweet snack.

A flower crab spider sits atop a musk thistle and waits to ambush an unsuspecting pollinator.

The entire area outlined in red was a dense patch of hounds tongue. Rather than hand pull the entire area, we weed whacked it. We will monitor this area, and others like it, to see how effective this new removal strategy works.

A mule deer browses arrowleaf balsamroot.

Thimbleberries flower in the deep valleys of the boondocks.

Rocky mountain bee plant fills the barren niche along roadsides.

Due to sparse evidence of root dwelling bio controls in the abundant knapweed population, the crew released 5,000 knapweed root weevils on the clubhouse floodplain last fall. Today I pulled up 50 knapweed plants to survey their roots for weevil larvae. I found larvae in 32% of the plants, a good start.

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