Friday, May 21, 2010

Following Up

I thought it might be a good idea to give an update on a couple of the things I’ve posted about before and have been keeping an eye on. This is the pot in which I planted the seeds and other debris left by Bluebirds roosting over the winter in the nest boxes. This pot is surrounded by several others and I decided that any plant that could be found in all pots could not be attributed to the Bluebirds. Those shared plants were removed from this pot.

The two most common plants are Japanese Honeysuckle, the opposite leaved plant in the lower center of the photo and Multiflora Rose, shown just above the honeysuckle. It’s no wonder these invasive species are so hard to control. With birds dropping the seeds everywhere, there will be no end to new seedlings. The third most common plant is some species of grape, shown in the lower right.

The seeds are maturing on the pot cultured Leavenworthia uniflora. Here are a few of the pods, some are still holding their seed and others have let the seed drop. Once all of the seed has matured, I’ll remove all plants from the pot and then get the dropped seeds ready for summer by lightly stirring and packing down the soil. Leavenworthia seeds need a period of warm weather to prepare them for germination in late winter.

I saved some of the seeds for distribution in likely growing areas around Blue Jay Barrens. I’m going to plant some on a few ant mounds to see if the Leavenworthia will grow in association with the Mound Builder Ants. Other winter annuals can do it, so I thought Leavenworthia might also.

The Yellow Lady’s Slipper orchid is still awaiting pollen. I’m assuming a pollinated flower would begin to wither as the plant began seed production. The bloom commonly lasts for several weeks before fading.

Edwards' Hairstreak Butterfly larvae are still spending all of their time in the tree. I check periodically to see if the ants have begun building a byre in which to store the growing larvae. The literature says that sometime around the larvae’s third molt, the ants will begin to take the larvae into protective custody at the base of the tree during the day. This should be happening soon.

The young oak leaves show increased signs of feeding, but I haven’t seen any larvae moving onto the leaves during daylight hours. During the day they seem to maintain a position that tends to mimic the buds and bud scales.


  1. Thanks for the update. I'm esp. interested in the Edward's Hairstreak larvae and ant story. I'm not at all surprised about your pots! I battle invasives here on my own property to the point that I've almost given up! ~karen

  2. Karen - Dealing with invasives can certainly be frustrating. To give myself a feeling of accomplishment, I took one section of trail that I walk frequently and got rid of all the invasives I could see. That way there was always one place I could walk without seeing any alien invaders. It helped a lot. Since then I've concentrated some of my work every year on places that I frequently see.