Friday, December 19, 2008

Grassland Seed Harvest

Last week, the staff from the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest was scheduled to harvest seeds from grassland plant species growing near our grassland restoration plots, but rain caused a postponement. Here are some previous entries relating to the grassland restoration (ignore the first one, "Halloween in the Swamp"). Today, however, was a beautiful day to be outside picking seeds.

Any seeds from native grassland plants, except Dog Fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), were fair game. Some of the plants had already shed their seed inventory or had it consumed by hungry birds and other wildlife. However, the sun and 70-degree Fahrenheit weather quickly dried the condensation from the seeds that remained ensuring that they would not rot prior to being spread in the nearby grassland restoration plots.

Thanks to Sudie Daves from the Calhoun County Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office for her technical assistance and plant identification. Thank you also to all the volunteers that came out on this warm December day to pick seeds. The restored grassland sites will be a wonderful gift to our native wildlife!

Images by Mark Musselman

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