e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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New Gallery: Habitats

I've opened a new gallery, Habitats, in the Scrapbook area.  It's just starting to get loaded.  The idea is to show some typical habitats on the place, so readers will have an idea what I'm talking about when I saw I found a pink-striped, black-toed, purple-spotted whatsit at a location or in a habitat type.


Habitats include the big obvious basics (grassland, bareground, woods, brush) but the seasonal and ephemeral ones: the pools of water that may last only a few days or weeks, the winter forbs v. the summer forbs, etc.  And also the microhabitats within the larger ones...tallgrass, midgrass, and shortgrass in the grasslands, native v. nonnative grasses, flatter ground in the riparian woods compared to the slopes in the west woods, etc. 

So eventually there will be a lot of pictures, often showing the same place in different seasons and different rainfall conditions.  Sometimes the creek is a creek, sometimes it's a roaring flood, sometimes it's a dry ditch, apparently lifeless.  And there are changes.  When we bought the place, it had a lot of bare ground; now it doesn't, but the mix of plants changes with both natural succession and management choices. 

For instance, we mow maintenance paths so we can walk safely from place to place and see rattlesnakes before we step on them.  Maintenance paths thus self-select for grass that can stand repeated mowing during the growing season.   Other areas are mowed (less often) as a substitute for prescribed  burning (because of our location, where a burn could threaten homes and a construction company's fuel storage)...and to maintain variety in grass height, successional stage, nonnative weed control, etc. 

In the woods, we've been working on removing invasive non-native trees, shrubs, and vines.  These include chinaberry, ligustrum, waxleaf ligustrum, and Japanese honeysuckle.   That opens space for natives.  We've also interplanted native speces that "should" be here. 

But more on all that later.  Now I have to try to find the rest of the habitat pictures, which don't seem to be on this thumb drive.

  This shot, now in the habitats gallery, shows the creek at bankfull flood, carrying a lot of sediment, but receding from its highest, when it was over bank full.  The treetrunk across the stream is still a living tree, undermined by repeated floods. 

Tags: flood, riparian woods

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