At the park: 48

Both of the new boxes that we mounted in mid-February are home to clutches of Hooded Merganser eggs. The crew of wildlife photographers were very grateful for the activity at new box #10, which is quite visible from the boardwalk. They tried to convince us to set up even more boxes, in racks condo-style; we politely thanked them for the suggestion.

reddeninggreeningDownstream of the observation tower along Barnyard Run, it still looks pretty brown, although the flush of maple flowers is apparent in the treetops. At the water level, duckweed is starting to green up.

I stuck around until the afternoon to join a different volunteer team, this one organized to whack away at some of the invasive alien Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) and Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) that threatened to make a play for a sunny clearing. We worked in a section along the pond trail in the northwest section of the park, not accessible from the boardwalk trails but rather from the hike-bike trail with its trailhead on South Kings Highway.

statelyWe cleaned up vines in the vicinity of a stately Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera). I spent a good chunk of my time working over a patch of bittersweet that was more tenacious than Audrey II, all the while leaving the native Poison Ivy and Virginia Grape alone.