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Crow’s Nest spring scenes and trends

April 18, 2011

On an evening walk I could see just the top of this barn over the rise of the farm fields at Crow’s Nest, with a red maple blooming in the background.

Much of our land management work on the preserves requires physical labor, is sometimes repetitive, and yet must still be done thoughtfully. But I have plenty of time to think while I work and try to pay attention to what I’m observing, looking for changes or trends.

This has been an especially good year for bloodroot, so it warrants another photo.

I can’t identify a trend here, just that this year seems better than most. But I do think I have identified a consistent yearly increase in two of my favorite wildflowers, Dutchman’s breeches and nodding trillium. I wish I could take credit for the rise as a result of good land management: reduction in deer numbers and of invasive species. But while both of these are true I can’t prove causality.

The Dutchman’s breeches can be seen along Piersol Road near Hopewell Road, and the population seems larger every year even though it is growing amidst a mess of Japanese honeysuckle.

And nodding trillium (not yet blooming but just emerging from the ground) is spreading in an area where I have been controlling garlic mustard for several years. Look for it soon in the wide hedgerow between the parking lot and the visitor center barn.

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