Well, so much for sleeping in on the first Sunday off! Well, a couple more hours of rest but Richard, Christine, Andrew, and Tanka headed out to do some invasive control, tend new plantings and waterings, and to remove some trash from the river. Sit back. Another ton of photos.
We took some 'before' images in some areas, including one of the 5 Sand Cord Grass plantings by Net 19.
Around what will become the area of Net 20, Richard has added 8 new Blackberry plants.
Here, we see a long view of the Red Mulberry and new Blackberry plants along the river. We first used the pink marking flags for plotting where the first net poles would be placed. Now they have become quite handy in marking new and proposed native plants.
The Wild Coffee we planted by Net 12 were having a hard time. Some were continuously dug up and a the others just seemed tired. We have replaced them with Maple-leaf Viburnum. Seems like they could be an interesting addition.
Documentation done, we settle in to our main task of removing Air Potato and Caesar Weed. Once blanketing most of the banks, we have all but eliminated them on this side of the river. Introduced into Florida more than a hundred years ago it is extremely invasive and the rangers don't seem to like them. We have spent several years knocking them back.
Next on the list, Air Potato. We have done a phenomenal job at removing this vine from this side of the river. Most sprouting vines now seem to be from leftover tubers knocked down when we first began removing the sheets of them years ago. Most seem anemic and are not too deep in the ground.
Once a bunch of weeding was done, Andrew wandered down his trail at the end of the net lanes. From one spot there is a pretty shot of cattails and the edge of the lake. If only we could get rid of the condos...
Speaking of Cattails, they are all maturing nicely.
It was hoped that the trail could have been connected to the sandbar at the end of the river. However, the land ends at the mouth of the river with a huge break before reaching the bar. Now we can't sun with the gators...but we can get a nice view.
Next, time to get to unfinished business. Andrew finally brought his boots so he could get to some trash down in the river. Note the wet shirt. Yes, the humidity made it back this weekend.
Down near the end of the net lanes, we have been trying to figure out how to get the supposed boat part out of the river. The water was dropping but we did get rain last week so it was back up a bit. Still, this had to be done. Minutes after sizing up the situation, Andrew tried to pry the back of the debris with one of the net poles.
A good start, but it was still in deep water. Without going all the way in, what to do? A couple minutes later, a way was found across the river and a small piece of the hull was used as leverage to move it higher up into the stream.
Now that it looked possible, Richard climbed down to try and grab an edge.
Success! The huge hull was captured!!
Since no fishing is allowed from this part of the water, Richard and Andrew are proud of their catch for the day.
Finally, Andrew discovered a new addition to the river this morning. Some new gate. It could not be moved so it must have been purposefully anchored since last week.
According to the rangers, they are planning to have carp added to the lake to control some weeds. This gate is thought to be used to stop the carp from moving up river into other bodies of water. We shall see.
OK. Now for sleep for real. Until the next weeding time later in the Summer.
Session 4 will begin on the first Sunday in August. Weather permitting...
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, August 7th.
All nets will be opened by 6:20 A.M.