Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fence Row Natives

Despite the mess of invasives, the old fence row has maintained a nice collection of native species.  This Wild Plum has put on a good display of blooms, but it’s been several years since any of the Blue Jay Barrens plums have produced ripe fruit.  Late freezes are rough on this tree, so early warm weather just sets it up for failure. 

It would be nice to see all of these lovely flowers turn into bright yellow-red fruit.  We’ve had a hard mid May freeze each of the last three years and Wild Plums have dropped their fruit after each freeze.  It’s hard to imagine that we’ll make it through to summer without at least one more freeze this spring.

A Brown Thrasher entertained me for an entire morning.  It produced quite a variety of mimicked songs.  Many of the songs were unfamiliar to me, so I’m guessing these were learned somewhere far from Blue Jay Barrens.

Despite the abundance of Japanese Honeysuckle, many native flowers are showing themselves in the old fence row.  Several colonies of Mayapple are present.  I’ll be sure to leave enough native trees and shrubs to give the Mayapples the shade they prefer.

Bluets are common in the areas that hadn’t been completely shade covered.  It’ll be interesting to see if these persist or if they become overwhelmed by other sun loving species.

Spring Beauties have covered large sections of the fence row.  These plants seem to compete well against many invasives.

Adder’s Tongue Fern has colonized the entire fence row.  I originally found this plant growing in limited colonies in the fence rows.  It has since spread across the old crop fields.  It’s definitely a species that’s on the increase.

I’m still finding Olive Hairstreaks everywhere I look.  This guy was using one of my marking flags as a perch from which to fly out to chase other butterflies crowding into its territory.  The abundance of these butterflies makes me optimistic about finding some of their larvae feeding on Eastern Red Cedars.  I see the adults each year, but I’ve never seen a larva and I would really like to enjoy all stages of the butterfly life cycle.


  1. It continues to amaze and delight me how nearly identical your flora and fauna are there in southern Ohio, to what I can step out of my office and see here at the nature reserve on the northern edge of the Missouri Ozarks.

    I do have Formica exsectoides envy, though.

  2. Hi James. Formica exsectoides certainly does add spice to the landscape. They seem to interact with everything. It would be interesting to take a year and just document all of the interactions between the ants and everything else.