Monday, July 30, 2012
Richford Seed Collecting Trip. On Friday we headed up to Krissy's neck of the woods in Richford, New York to collect Danthonia spicata, or Poverty Oatgrass seed which grows along the old roads of an abandoned seed potato farm with the Natural Areas Crew. Here we are gearing up for our expedition.
PEEPS on Patrol This week Krissy and I had the pleasjure of working with the PEEPS. It stands for Plantations Environmental Education Program for Sustainability and is comprised of a group of carefully selected Ithaca-area teens who intern at plantations in all of its various areas and participate in educational experiences. Initially we had them workking on identifying and eradicating the invasive weed Torilis japonica - japanese Hedge Parsley but once they finished that we moved on to collecting seed from Elymus hystrix- Bottlebrush Grass. You can see us harvesting the seeds below.
Garden Bugs This butterfly was enjoying the anise flavored nectar of Agatache foeniculum - Anise Hyssop. I think the butterfly is Limenitis arthemis arthemis - The White Admiral or Red-spotted Purple, either way its a beaut!
Floral Field Day. This learning Monday we participated in Cornell's Annual Floriculture Field Day. The morning was essentially taken up by lectures, which while interesting, did not offer many opportunities for photos. The afternoon however was spent out at Bluegrass Lane, Cornell's Horticultural test fields. It was windy, but I did manage to get a few shots for the blog. Here we see one of the first-prize winners of the container planting contest. It helps to prove my point that while flowers are enjoyable its always better to think about the effect of longer lasting foliage first. Not a flower on it, but the creative use of bog/emergent plant foliage netted it a goal over more blossom heavy arrangements.
More Plant Profiles for your general edification. First we have a shot of Rudbeckia laciniata, the Green-headed Coneflower. This tall cut-leaved plant has the distinction of being the only Rudbeckia (the genus of Black-eyed and Brown-eyed Susans) which is truly native to the Cayuga Lake Watershed.
More birds in the Garden! Here's a shot of Megaceryle alcyon, the Belted Kingfisher. I've been trying to get a shot of this particular bird for weeks now but it remained stubbornly camera shy. I finally got this one of it perched on the glacial erratic joined by a Quiscalus quiscula, or Common Grackle.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Here's a few new plant profiles. First up is Allium cernuum the Nodding Wild Onion. This native of dry woods, rocky outcrops, and prairies is perfectly suited to the hot dry summer we're having. Like all onions it has a thick fleshy bulb the helps support it through droughts. It is also a great attractor for pollinators.