Wayne Siebenaler

Date of volunteer work: 03/31/2016.
Site Name: Mitchell Creek Natural Area.
Number of hours worked: 2.
Species removed: Armenian blackberry, English ivy, foxglove.
Estimated percent cover before removalblackberry = 10%; ivy = 3%, foxglove = .05%.
Approximate square feet of invasives removedblackberry = 10 sq. ft.; ivy = 2 sq. ft.; foxglove = 1 sq. ft..

Today, rather than work the flagged section, I searched for weeds while walking west on Vradenburg Road. I didn’t have to walk long before finding Armenian blackberry and English ivy. The area appeared to have once been a large blackberry patch that had been sprayed at some time or another. I don’t often find very much ivy at the natural area, but today I discovered a fair amount. After about an hour working the area just off the road, I began to work my way northward towards a grouping of flags that could be seen in the distance. The flagged area appeared to be another – yet much larger – blackberry patch that too had been sprayed a few years ago. There were a lot of vines, so I decided to put most of my effort towards removing the largest ones, saving the smaller ones for another day. I also discovered and weeded about a dozen foxglove plants. I eventually made my way to the creek where I turned around and headed back towards the road.

The afternoon was very warm, and I had stripped down to a short-sleeved t-shirt. Meanwhile, the Stinging nettle stands between twelve and 18 inches tall. And, at one point during the day, I inadvertently brushed the underside of my bare, left elbow against the leaves of a nettle plant while crouched down, engrossed in the act of taking a picture of a pile of illegal dumped garbage. Ugh – it was nearly eighteen hours before the skin irritation fully subsided.

Along with the Stinging nettle, I observed that the trillium is blooming. Also, while uprooting blackberries, I uncovered a small salamander.

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