Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Deer back for the Hooker's (Evening Primroses)

Donax to the max (pre-2010)

Text and photos from Mark Hengesbaugh (captions and title from Anne):
Thickets of invasive Arundo donax (Giant Reed) canes infested Sabino Dam and Sabino Creek for decades, crowding out native plants, until volunteers and USFS personnel removed them in a major effort a few years ago.

Same area on 8/14/2012, with only a few soon-to-be-sprayed-with-herbicide stalks
On Aug. 14, 2012, a team of Sabino naturalists surveyed seven plots in the canyon that had been totally dominated by Arundo, and found that 80 species of plants had re-established themselves. A survey in 2010 in those same locations found 55 plant species.
The team: Mark and Jean Hengesbaugh, Fred Heath, Tom 'Grassman' Skinner, Peggy Wenrick, and Anne Green. 

Photo by Tom 'Grassman' Skinner of Mark with deer eating Hooker's 9/3/12 

Text from Mark:
So my buddy Tom Skinner and I were crashing through the underbrush of deepest dark post-Arundo donax Sabino Creek though areas that are now lush with native plants but that until 2009 had been totally dominated by the evil Giant Reed, and we had a Disney-esque moment with a Coues whitetail deer that was so preoccupied scarfing down the abundant Hooker's Evening Primrose that she didn't care about us two-legged intruders.
 Anne says: Go take a peek at the creek!

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