Monday, April 25, 2011


And here’s the proof that I have wetlands! Had wetlands. This is a good thing when you are a biologist. My oldest property survey, kindly left to me by the former owner, says it too. (Too bad nobody paid attention to any of that when they built a house in my front yard. I had an entirely new wetland when it decided to rain in earnest again last year after too many years of drought...)

Wetlands/no wetlands. Sure wish someone would remind Mother Nature that “vernal” can refer to variability in the presence of water within a single calendar year; it doesn’t have to mean variability over many, many years… Last spring, for the first time in too many years, this part of the yard was at least ankle-deep in water, and the ditches that surround the one-time farm fields (a particularly deep ditch was the one marked by the old surveyor’s tape) required waders and were actually flowing. (Last year was marvelous, but oh, for enough rain to produce another spring like the one years ago when the water in the backyard was so deep it attracted the passing attention of a pair of wood ducks!)

“Sedges have edges and rushes are round.” Always figured this was some kind of rush (if you think mustards are multitudinous, don’t even go near a key for grasses or grass-like vegetation) as it is scattered throughout that part of the yard that should be very wet at the very least. If it is a wetland plant, it’s amazing to me that the smattering of it in my back yard has survived as many droughts as it has in the last dozen years. (Hope it survives the grazers this year—this bit has already had its tips chomped off. I may just have to start thinking about venison tenderloin next winter if the deer are resorting to eating anything and everything.)

But plants are truly remarkable things, and I’m not yet overly worried about total losses… Sure would be nice if it rained some more, though.