I spent the morning with the Nisqually Land Trust pulling English Ivy on one of their properties.
This little property is right along side the freeway, just before it enters the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. February of last year we did some of the same type work on an adjacent property. I wrote about that day with the enchanting houses and the charming artistist who live on that property.
If you look back you will see that it was a glorious sunny day. Today was quite a different story. Rain, rain rain. I think this is storm five in the chain of ten storms slated to come our way over the next week. Thankfully the wind was not blowing, but there was no hope of keeping remotely clean or dry.
English Ivy invades and runs. Its biggest damage potential comes when it climbs trees. The strong thick runners form solid mats around the trunk and between the weight of the plant and the choking off of circulation these vines can bring down a tree.
Because the creek that passes through the property is a salmon stream, the trees are vital to protect and maintain the water temperatures. They also help filter the toxins in the environment.
We focused on clearing the ivy from around the trunks in a girdling like pattern. Leaving a gap of about 2 to three feet between the ivy high in the tree and the ground will result in death for the higher ivy. I focused on the newer growth with my hand clippers. Others used saws and pick-axes to pry vines as stout as my arm from the sides of the trunks. The ground around the trees could benefit from having the vines pulled up as well. It is a daunting task. Everything you see here that is clear, bare dirt was ivy when we started.
Unlike last year the woods are not quite up to speed. Indian Plum is blooming, but there is very little fresh new growth. The native snails are asleep. I did find some tiny, fresh turkey tail fungus.
This remarkably bright cup fungus earned a new home in a rotten tree trunk.
I didn't get an opportunity to take many pictures. My hands were muddy and my camera collected its own wet and grim even inside my pocket. My coat is not waterproof and why I am putting off actually getting suitable clothes for this task is beyond me.
I could not resist taking a picture of these lovely Violas. They are a garden species and not native. No one is particularly worried about their presence.
After visiting Washington Park last week , I revisited my blog entries from last year at this time. What a difference our somewhat normal weather this winter has made. Last year we had a mild, wet, non-winter with hardly any cold, freezing temperatures.
Last year at this time Washington Park was already in bloom with flowers everywhere. Last week I could not find a one, thought I found plenty of evidence that they will be here soon!