Invaders—bad and good
September 29, 2016.
Much of this week—between welcome rains— was devoted to preparing the administration Quonset building for the 40 or 50 visitors expected next week, and removing exotic invaders that have moved into disturbed areas and spread. From Center for Urban Habitats, we were fortunate to have the skilled team of Rachel, Jessie, Luke, Soizic, and Zayd removing thousands of murdannia (marsh dewflower, an Asian relative of spiderwort), microstegium (Japanese stilt grass), arthraxon (carpet grass, which resembles wavy leaved basket grass and is almost as bad) and lespedeza cuneata (Chinese bush clover). They did this while avoiding damage to natives: six species of desmodium (tick trefoil), and several varieties of dicanthelium (rosette grass), among others.
The featured photo is of Luke, getting a giant miscanthus (Asian maiden grass) out of the bank near one of the bridges. Thanks to long labors Armand initiated years ago, we are getting ahead of the miscanthus and elaeagnus umbellate (autumn olive) around the main trail loop. Here are the experts at work with the other stuff.
In happier news, we are finding in the galleries, particularly around the parking lot, volunteer natives, including colonies of asimina triloba (pawpaw trees), hedeoma pulegioides (American pennyroyal—a charming shrubby perennial with scented leaves), and eragrostis capillaris (lace grass, or tiny love grass, with delicate clouds of bloom). Here’s a sample of the pennyroyal and the love grass.
Work on the Quonset building involves less latin. Many improvements are newly installed or under way, including a great well (producing 15 gallons per minute from 245 feet down), installation of projector, screen, and speakers in the classroom, HVAC ducting, and creation of an enclosed bathroom complete with macerating toilet, instant hot water, and sink. (Because we are in a hurry to get this in place for the big meeting next week, we took some short cuts. For example, the doors we ordered would not be ready in time, so we found an old one of the right size for the bathroom for temporary use. As you can see, there is a small problem with it, but I imagine we’ll be able to cure that by the time the crowd arrives.)
We also had the pad poured for the outside porch, and are working on the entrance. Obviously, many things will still be a little on the rough side for the big meeting, but we’re pleased with the progress.