Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hello Spring 2013

Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis)

Has it really been almost a year since posting on here?  Time to get back in the groove.  Suddenly watching the flora and fauna come alive around here has inspired me to get my blogging act together.

Just as a brief reminder - I started this blog in April of 2009 when Adopt A Stream lead a project to restore a native growth buffer along the banks of Little Swamp Creek where it travels through our yard.  Students from the Leaf School at Edmonds Community College helped plant and mulch the buffer here in two phases and helped install large woody debris in a couple places along the stream bank.  This work took place between April 2009 and April 2010. Adopt A Stream and The Leaf School also completed an additional restoration project in our neighbor's yard where the stream continues behind our property.  The plants in our yard are doing fabulously, with only a few becoming victims to varying degrees of deer and beaver.

Back to what is happening now.  Indian plum is one of the first native plants that we see blooming along Little Swamp Creek, but it's not the only native plant currently blooming here.  Skunk Cabbage is also popping up like mad.  I hadn't smelled it yet, but I sure saw a lot of blossoms in the wetland behind our fence.

Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus)

Little Swamp Creek in Swamp Creek Wetland #3

Another view of Little Swamp Creek in Wetland #3

A few spots of bright pink Salmonberry blossoms suddenly appeared along the stream,

which prompted me to share the signs of spring showing up in the native plantings along our little stretch of Little Swamp Creek.

Wild rose (maybe Nootka but not sure)

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)

Twinberry (Lonicera involucrata)

This chokeberry is one of the first plants that we planted next to the stream. That was back in 2000.  It is now sporting a beautiful collection of lichens. 

This little nettle start and mushroom were part of the plant community on and around a huge, old tree stump that was left behind after this area was logged years and years ago.  There are several old stumps like this in the woods around us.

Red-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)

I didn't realize how readily the Red-flowering Currants will multiply by establishing a new plant with root growth off of a branch that remains in contact with the ground.  Here's an example in our yard -

I took a picture of this willow next to the stream on one day, and the next day it was chopped down by a beaver.  More on the beaver issue in a future blog post...

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