Our September workday was a productive one, and the weather was fine. In our new sunlovers/butterfly garden we put in a trellis for a pipevine (Aristolochia macrophylla) for the benefit of swallowtail larvae, and installed labels so park visitors could identify the native plants we have put there. Along the boardwalk an estimated 500 (20×25) sq. ft. were cleared of privet and a brushpile of approx. 640 (10x8x8) cubic ft. was made from the trimmings. A local resident using the trail expressed interest in native plants and layering. She was encouraged to join GNPS and come to our workdays.
The dead beech on the lower slope of the hill had been safely downed and cut into sections by a timbering crew since our previous workday. In the wetland area ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), goldenrod (Solidago sp.) and one of the knotweeds (Polygonum spp.) made a fine montage with all the different flower colors on display. Beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) in the original butterfly garden are showing their neon-purple berry clusters now.
Red-bellied woodpecker, white-eyed vireo, white-breasted nuthatch, and possibly a kingfisher (though more probably a woodpecker) were seen and/or heard by the birders in the group. A 5-stripe skink was seen. Three Eastern tiger swallowtails, lots of yellow sulphurs, a hackberry emperor, gulf fritillary, and pearly crescents were all spotted, and there were plenty of spiders setting up their webs. And the interesting-looking specimen above was spotted on the trail and moved to safety after having its photo taken. We’ll attempt to identify its species.
Workdays are generally the 2nd Saturday of the month, from 10-12 in the cooler months and 9-11 when it’s warmer. Come out to enjoy the woods and help us with our ongoing restoration efforts at Heritage Park.