At the CCC Field, those Yucca plants you can see in the background have been blooming and producing seeds for years, though perhaps not all the way back to the CCC days. Consequently, there have been lots of little Yuccas in the landscaped areas here. Until now. We’ve taken most of them out, as in the bed in the foreground. I cut and discarded the spent flowering stems this year, to discourage volunteer seeding, but I could have taken another course. According to Helen Hamilton in Wildflowers and Grasses of Virginia’s Coastal Plain, the immature fruit can be cooked and eaten after the seeds are removed.
With the sidewalk cleaned and this Dogwood bed weeded, we moved to the Pool Gardens to take out the invading Nutsedge, Horse Nettle and Bermuda Grass. That was pretty well in hand (though seemingly never complete) when the arriving pool visitors shattered the quiet of the morning. So we moved up to the CCC Museum where grasses and Dandelion were beginning to return. Here there was also an unrecognized small wildflower that is proving difficult to identify. From there to the Butterfly Garden, finding a few weeds and a few insects of interest, though no butterflies. Eric found a very patient dragonfly, and we think we found a bee-mimic fly.
With the Butterfly Garden well in hand, we traipsed over to the Rain Garden, with a nod to a large Fowler’s Toad in passing. Again there were just a few weeds to be picked out, some Bee Balm to admire and photograph, and that completed our morning’s gardening task. Before leaving the park, I took time to visit a bathhouse in the New Campground where there have been some Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven) trees. The last photograph shows the resprouts from the roots of these trees, which must be pulled or cut several times each summer to keep them from growing back.
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.