Tramping about in the woods looking for and managing Tree of Heaven and Honeysuckle during the winter provides an opportunity to witness some of the rarer sights Pocahontas has to offer. Mushrooms are common enough as a group, but the Chicken Mushroom below is not so often seen. This cluster is hiding on the back side of a tree near one of the park trails. The second photo is an attempt to capture Mistletoe at the top of a tall oak tree. Mistletoe is uncommon in the Piedmont and has not been officially recorded as present here.
Weed control: dig out? spray? smother? Sometimes smothering with mulch makes the most sense. Some of the winter weeds in the Park Office landscaping can't be dug out without damaging the perennial crowns Here again, as in the Rain Garden, shredded leaf mulch seems to be the best choice. It settles down densely enough on top of dormant perennial forbs (wildflowers) to smother the weeds, but doesn't lift and fly away when the wind blows. Here at the Park Office, it may even be feasible to use shredded leaf mulch all year instead of the more expensive shredded wood mulch. The shredded leaf mulch is free while it lasts, so I'll be spreading more of it here in the near future.
I dug out a few weeds and did general tidying up at the Native Plant Garden this week, and for a change there's nothing more to be done there for the time being. Likewise at the CCC Museum. On the other hand, the CCC Field and Aquatic Center beds need attention in the form of weeding and/or mulching. A life coach, on hearing that my only hobby was gardening, advised me to find an additional interest because gardening was a seasonal activity. Not!
The photograph below of a site in the park shows how nature uses mulch to manage "weeds" in a forest after abandonment of a large man-made pit.
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.