Sunday, November 8, 2015

Restoring Bottomland Prairie: Crown Vetch Attacks!!

 Ironically, just after posting  about keeping Crown Vetch out of the Creek Field, I found an island of Crown Vetch in the Creek Field!  It didn't spread from the riparian buffer--it hop-scotched in!   Luckily, it was a warm day with no wind, so I was able to spot-spray it immediately.   But where there's one....
I photographed & magnified a leaflet to make sure
it was Crown Vetch, and not Canada Milkvetch.  No
hairs here!  Hopefully, no errors, either!
This tangled mat of green is Crown
Vetch, in the SE corner of the Creek
Normally, a sprawling, tangled mat means Crown Vetch, while erect,
individually distinguishable plants mean Canada Milkvetch.
But if individuals were invariable, there would be no
Crown Vetch is supposed to sprawl, while Canada Milkvetch is supposed to stand up straight.  But on occasion, I have seen individuals in each species do the opposite.

For a beginner like me, whether it's birds, or insects, or plants, or mammals--the trick is learning how much variation is likely within a given species.   

Luckily, husband Ron & I balance each other out.   He's always thinking something different is something new--whereas I'm always trying to fit strange encounters into the existing categories of my known world.   

This photo (looking northwest) shows the patch of Crown Vetch (2nd green patch in;
1st is late-blooming Canada Goldenrod) in relation to the loop-path
that separates the Creek Field from the riparian buffer.    The bare, compacted soil of the path
 is visible in the lower right-hand corner.

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