I started the weekly landscaping maintenance at the District Office, where there were just a few weeds in the mulch, and a few Liriope were once again appearing. Dispatching those, I trimmed the now leafless Swamp Milkweed stems and seed-heavy Cardinal-flower; no point in having to weed out a thousand Cardinal-flower seedlings next year.
Next stop was the CCC Field where Bert and Eric met me. The landscaped area there was dotted with a variety of mushrooms, including beautiful specimens of Purple-spored Puffballs. Several late-flowering wildflowers were blooming; an aster, a goldenrod, the narrow-leaf sunflower, a black-eyed Susan, and the Small White Morning Glory shown here. We did a little weeding, particularly taking out a small plant called Mulberryweed, which is an exotic escape from nurseries. I found in one of the mulched beds an emerging grape-fern, which is a deep woods native plant, and I flagged it so we wouldn't pull it out by mistake.
After spending half an hour on some weeds at the Aquatic Center, Eric and I took a walk up the Forest Exploration Trail. Not far from the footbridge there were scattered patches of Perilla Mint along the trail. Perilla Mint is another invasive weed which degrades the park's ecosystem. Unlike stiltgrass, which is so ubiquitous now that control is virtually impossible, Perilla Mint is not yet common in the park, so we still have the opportunity to contain it. It took the two of us about two hours to pull up all the Perilla Mint along that section of the trail.
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Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.