This restoration was from seed and this is its seventh growing season. The random, unkempt look is intentional. Except for removing invasives, I don’t try to control where the plants grow. I’m happy to let them do the thing they’ve been doing for millenia and just enjoy them and the fauna they attract.
This area is about 6/10 acre in front of my house. It started as a typical rural lawn with tall fescue, Bermuda grass, Kentucky bluegrass, and other non-native cool-season “lawn” grasses. It also had a lot of winter annuals like chickweed, henbit, dead nettle, etc. It was mowed by the previous owner but not doted over and cared for like a lawn in the suburbs.
After digging through notes, field notebooks, field guides, and the furthest recesses of our memories, we’ve compiled a vascular plant species list for Pearl Creek Farm. So far, we have 221 species listed, which is not bad for 10 acres. I’ve marked several with codes indicating their native status and whether or not we “imported” them as part of one of our restorations. As you can see, we have some identification work to do on some of the plants here.
With the help of John Atwood at the Missouri Botanical Garden, I’ve also compiled a list of 16 bryophytes for the farm.
In my first post on non-native and invasive species, I explained the definition of these terms, gave several common examples, and explained why these terms are not synonyms. Let’s leave the general topic of non-native behind for a bit and concentrate on invasive species only. What makes them “bad” and why are they so successful?
This is the first post of several where I will explore invasive and non-native, or introduced, species. This is a big topic in the management of natural resources and the control of such species is a big part of the work we do at Pearl Creek Farm. Like any scientific topic, there is disagreement about these terms, what the concepts really mean, and how they apply in the real world. Naturally, I have my own opinions about them, but don’t take my word for it! Do your own research and ask your own questions.
Inexpensive digital camera technology has revolutionized our ability to see all kinds of hidden things. Before, we might catch a fleeting glimpse of a wild animal here or there, but their lives remained a secret. Some we wouldn’t see at all. Here at Pearl Creek, we try to put out cameras every winter to see what is out and about.
Mostly, we photograph squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, and possums. Occasionally, we’ll get feral dogs or cats. Sometimes we get deer and turkey or even a bobcat or coyote. Interestingly, we’ve never photographed (or seen) a fox at Pearl Creek Farm.
Read on to see some of our photographs from this winter!