June, spraying and mowing continues on the NW field (above and below).
"A total eclipse occurs when the dark silhouette of the Moon completely obscures the intensely bright light of the Sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible. During any one eclipse, totality occurs at best only in a narrow track on the surface of Earth." (from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse)
Cameron King, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Ken enjoy the wetland blossoming on the NE field. Over 26 wetland species have been planted by seeds or plugs creating a diversity of plants, offering habitat for birds and insects. One top priority is to establish habitat for the Western meadowlark, the State Bird of Oregon, which now faces declined populations due to loss of habitat.
The 8 acres contains trees planted by our sons, Andy and Luke, nearly twenty years ago. Our goal at that time was to provide shade and create habitat that would reduce the introduction of Reed canary grass. The field was pasture and was harvested for hay, primarily Birdsfoot trefoil. Since the wetland restoration work began in 2012, fences were removed and the 8 acres took a lower priority for restoration. Now the unshaded areas are filled with a monoculture of Reed canary grass.
Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) is a native to Oregon's Coastal environments. There it grows in areas that are irregularly inundated with water; it will not persist under water for an entire growing season. It commonly grows in swamps, lake margins, road side ditches and emergent wetland meadows. Many wildlife species find it attractive for cover, food, and nesting habitats for waterfowl, marsh birds and small animals. Unfortunately, in the Willamette Valley, Reed canary grass is considered an invasive species. It was brought to the Valley to provide erosion control, sediment retention and forage, but regrettably it out-competed other native species.
It was our delight to share the emergence of the wetland prairie with our good friends, Jane Hartline, Sauvie Island Native Plants and her husband, Mark Greenfield, Audubon Society of Portland.
Mark discovered nesting Streaked-horn lark and spotting a Savannah sparrow. We were all delighted listening to the Western meadowlark. Jane knew all of the plants…and by scientific name. It was an amazing time!