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Monday, August 19, 2013

Sea Buckthorn Field Fauna



When I arrived back here at Foxgreen Farm, there wasn't much change in only five days to the Sea Buckthorn plants. (planted in May).  I had given them ¼ cup of organic fertilizer each before I left last time.  Since they are such new plants, it was a good idea.  That will be the last time this year, most likely ever.  I don’t want them to have a big growth spurt just prior to the fall and winter months.  That very new growth may be more susceptible to winter kill – not sure - certainly with most plants but I have seen seedlings freeze solid without any damage.  In any event they should be fixing their own nitrogen to some degree by now.  Many of the bare roots of the plants had the nitrogen fixing nodules already on them.  
I cut the grass again.  The sickle bar mower is not forgiving.  I have sliced 3 of the 440 plants.  I think they will still grow from the base.  If not there are the 25 spare ones healed into the hillside.   
The tall grass around the plants was not good.  It created an environment for insects, namely grasshoppers and Japanese Beetles to do some damage. Both insects are less numerous now.(see last post).

The Sea Buckthorn field is totally organic.  I have not used any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or petroleum based fertilizers.  The animals seem to like that too.  Last time I mentioned the turkey which was very happy eating grasshoppers and Japanese Beetles.  In just the last couple of days I have seen a Great Blue Heron (no photo), frogs, toads (no photo), numerous smaller birds, ravens, plenty of bear scat full of raspberry seeds (glad I don’t look or smell like a raspberry) and moose.  The moose did not seem to bother with the Sea Buckthorn plants at all.  There is a good part of the field which I could not afford to complete clearing so the new shoots from the maple/birch/beech tree stumps are by far their favorite.  Maybe this was a fortunate and an unplanned benefit. 
All the following photos are in and around the field the past three days.  The one exception is the picture of the Beaver Deceiver.  I built this last time I was here after a new culvert was installed.  I did not deceive at first.  Yesterday I drained their pond and reinforced the base of the fencing.  That ninety pound rodent just seemed to enjoy bending it up under the water, dragging mud, rocks, twigs, and grass -plugging the new eighteen inch culvert.  This morning I checked it and it wasn't plugged back up!  Hope it continues to work.  There are at least 15 beaver ponds within a couple of mile radius of the farm.  Outsmarting them will be an ongoing effort.  
Beaver Deciever, new.  More posts and reinforcements added to make it work.
Frogs in the Sea Buckthorn Field
Some of these are obvious, some are not.  Trust me there is a frog in each photo.  Look closely.....
leopard frog

leopard frog

leopard frog

leopard frog

The following few photos are of green frogs.  Information available indicates they like an aquatic environment.  Why are they here?
green frog

green frog

green frog

green frog

Moose in the morning.....
Moose walking through Sea Buckthorn field

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