Friday, September 18, 2009

Stalking the Purple Loosestrife

Behold the mighty loosestrife hunters, triumphing over their haul!

My friend Laurie called this morning, asking me to join her paddling the shores of Moreau Lake. Our task was to pull as much Purple Loosestrife as we could find. So far, this aggressive alien invader occupies only isolated stands of just a few individuals, so it's still within the realm of possibility to eliminate it from these shores. But the plant can be mighty hard to uproot, which is why Laurie, a geologist by training, brought along her rock pick to work those stubborn roots loose.

We paddled together in her tandem canoe, stashing the plants in these barrels. If we left them in place on the shore, they might reroot or their seeds sprout and make new plants.



It wasn't always easy to approach the plants, sometimes sinking into muck up to our shins.


Sometimes the plants pulled free of the sand without much effort.



The reason we pull this admittedly beautiful flower is to prevent it from overwhelming its habitat and crowding out the native plants that grow there. Such as this pretty Stiff Aster.


And this pristine white Grass-leaved Arrowhead.


Tomorrow we head to the Hudson, to join a volunteer clean-up crew. We'll be paddling the shore and visiting campsites to remove, not alien plants, but the trash left behind by a summer's worth of litterers. Grrrr!

6 comments:

Ellen Rathbone said...

Woo-hoo! You go, girls! This is a pat on the back for a job well done!!!

Squirrel said...

Good job. I bet your back needs more than and pat about now. That is hard work. Thanks for keeping your spot in the world healthy.

Woodswalker said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement, Ellen and Squirrel. Having friends who join in the effort makes the work seem like fun. But yeah, I was tired and a little achy that night.

Anonymous said...

A good read. I was particularly amazed by the green floating egg-like structures of Cyanobacterium. The knowledge of dragonfly love-making is still not an exact science (JSTOR), but is a delicate and complicated example of the Creator's role in life functions and the perpetuation thereof.

Jermo said...

I was amazed at the cyanobacterium and the egg-like ball, as well as the fact that they are edible. Understanding dragonfly love-making is not an exact science (JSTOR), but it is an example of the delicate and complicated technique of the perpetuation of life from our Creator.

Jermo said...

I was amazed at the cyanobacterium and the egg-like ball, as well as the fact that they are edible. Understanding dragonfly love-making is not an exact science (JSTOR), but it is an example of the delicate and complicated technique of the perpetuation of life from our Creator.