07-29-14 Field Note

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07-29-14 Field Note

July 29, 2014

Jeff Clarke's Field Note describes weevil collection, a badger, witch's broom, and a hummingbird

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Weevil collection, weed whack kocia and knapweed, hummingbird July 24th, 2014 By

The top of Mt. Baldy has a diverse community of native grasses and forbs. Knapweed is also present and encroaches more every year. In an attempt to prevent the spread of their invasive seeds we removed their seed heads, with weed whackers, before they fully developed. We set up a control plot to compare the difference in treatments.

After we weed whacked the knapweed seed heads off the top of Mt. Baldy, we introduced 5,000 knapweed root weevils (collected from elsewhere on the ranch) to boost the small population that already exists there. The root weevil’s larvae will eat the knapweed’s tap roots and weaken the plants.

Knapweed seed head weevils help damage the plant’s seed heads however, they also feed rodents throughout the winter. Healthy rodents also feed on native seeds.

Another badger lurks near the old corral’s columbian ground squirrel colony.

A large witch’s broom, caused by dwarf mistletoe, will break this limb.

I took this macro shot of fireweed to admire it’s unique pistil.

pistil. Ten seconds later, a hummingbird visited the same flower and sipped the nectar from within the pistil I was had just admired.

Huckleberries provide valuable forage for the bears atop Mt. Baldy.

We weed whack the kocia and other weeds in the hedge rows to prevent the spread of seeds. Native plants also benefit from our work.

The bull rush and lily pads we planted in the middle of the clubhouse pond last year grow bigger this year. We will transplant additional aquatic vegetation this fall.

The branches from a fallen ponderosa pine creates a natural exclosure for these aspen suckers.

Tansy around the pond perishes after it received dose of glyphosate.

Last year the crew weed whacked massive mullein invasions right before they flowered. The top photo shows the hill above Sainfoin Bench, last year, before it was whacked. The bottom photo shows the same hill one year later.

The last and only larch on the ranch’s floodplain was killed by the flood waters this spring.

Spike Camp

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