08-14-14 Field Note

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08-14-14 Field Note

August 14, 2014

Jeff Clarke's Field Note shows knapweed weevil collection and release, sunflowers, and clematis.

Weevil collection and release, knapweed, seeds, clematis, sunflowers August 11th, 2014 By Jeff Clarke

Knapweed root weevils inhabit most patches of knapweed in the lower elevations on the west side of the Ranch. We discovered that one large patch of knapweed near Whaley Draw has significantly more weevils than all other areas. As a result, this is where we collect weevils for our relocation projects. From July 28th – August 4th we collected weevils for a Boondocks relocation project. In four days, the field crew (EPI assisted on Aug. 4th) collected 16,756 weevils.

Previous surveys conducted by Mike McTee show that there are few knapweed root weevils in the Boondocks. To increase root weevil populations, the field crew released approximately 500 weevils on 31 patches of knapweed (each release indicated by a number above). The 16,756 new weevil residents may spread 400 yards per year. In time, we hope they canvas the entire Boondocks.

Planted blue clematis set roots around the Orchard Fences and reach for the sky.

On the top of Mt. Baldy, we weed whacked knapweed seed heads and stalks in an attempt to prevent additional seeds from spreading. Threes weeks later, I revisited the site to find the weed whacked areas have fewer flower heads than the control plot. We will continue to monitor the seed head density.

Over the last few weeks, the field crew collected bitterbrush, balsamroot and scorpionweed seeds. These seeds, along with many others, will fill the new seed orchard.

The sunflower field sings with delight! Some sunflowers hang their heads after ungulates nibbled off all their petals.

Wildfires in Idaho fill the Bitterroot Valley with smoke.

Last fall we sprayed aquatic-friendly glyphosate on reed canary grass to see if it would kill the mat-like grass. The areas we sprayed have been water logged until one week ago. The initial results look good, but I think we need to give it a few more weeks until we draw any conclusions.

Cattle graze on the property across the river. We re-secured the fence lines that cross temporary river channels as a precautionary measure.

The multi-year bitterbrush nurse plant study has come to an end. The crew matted the old plots to prevent weeds from spreading to other studies.

Last year we removed several bull rush from this patch and transplanted them to the middle of the new pond. Both populations are still healthy. This fall we will transplant 60 more plants from this robust population.

Yellow toadflax continues to bloom on the Floodplain. It is a species that has existed here for awhile, but may become a nuisance.


Great Golden Digger Wasp