Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We did a project today on the Floodplain below China Valley

The project was a great success; some good things happened, some bad things happened, and we did just about everything we set out to do. We cleared vines off the fence line, we mulched just about all the plantings, we cleared a horribly overgrown ex-pond, and generally reclaimed an area that had backslid a bit. The day worked out well for Michael (Fern Valley ASRT) until about 2:58 pm. He removed many undesirable and/or invasive plants with his brand new machete (that arrived today mid-morning). He mulched, he pruned. Then, just before 3"00, his machete flew into the river (not from his hand). A few minutes later his hand saw interracted inappropriately with a fingernal and the finger beneath it. A good day finished poorly; Michael's spirit seemed undaunted. Bravo.

The top picture shows George, Michael, Amanda, and Jeanette, who, at 7 months, okayed the profile. They are working, or about to work, or have just finished working. A big group of canoists is barely visible in the background. Since installing the floating pier, we regularly have visitors who arrive on the river. They'll come to a more attractive place after our efforts this week and last.

The Floodplain is a geat place to approach the Anacostia River. Walk down the China Valley Trail, exit the gate (that's open daily from *:30 am to 4:30 pm, and walk out to the river. I see lots of interesting birds: bald eagles pretty much daily, a variety of herons regularly, and dozens of other species. Just across the Anacostia is the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, with Water Lilies, Lotus, and other aquatic and emergents. I learned, only today, that Camellia Research used to take place on the floodplain. There were polyhouses, and nursery beds. None are evident now though we did just release, and are propagating an interesting Camellia japonica cross that we cleaned around today: one of two plants that remain from an earlier period.

And we saw good bugs. ( dont think I have latent melanoma...the unhealthy pallor of my arm is an artifact of magnification) I hope.

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