When I checked the thermometer this morning it read 30.8 degrees. This is the lowest of the season. Since the air is dry there was only very light frost on the goldenrods in the meadows. The plants have gone to seed and the small winter birds love them. Both the meadows are prime bird habitat. If you walk the paths, attempt to go slow and quietly to improve your chance of a close up view and minimize the disturbance to the residents.
The majority of the Fall chores are mostly done. We have a nice size pile of chopped leaves for compost. The upper gutters are cleaned and most of the leaves near the building are down. The flower beds are cleaned with the exception of the Alyssum and Snap Dragons which until last night were still looking good. The Alyssum still are. These annuals take a little more care when they are getting started but then perform well. If you let them they will also seed themselves in the same spot.
Another task we are working on is the thinning of the Norway Maple seedlings and small trees. The Norway Maple while once commonly planted as an ornamental is now classified as an invasive plant. In general when possible invasive plant should be removed from sustainable habitats. Young Norway Maples blend into the forest most of the year. Their leaves turn bright yellow and hold on the tree longer than most. So now is the best time to identify and remove them.
This is Assistant Ed’s last week of work for the season. Before Ed started in the spring of 2009 this place was infested with mile-a-minute weed. Now that is a minor nuisance. Most of the mature trees trunks were covered by English Ivy. Now most are clear. Honeysuckle, Hops, Multiflora Rose and many other undesirable plants are a lot less comfortable here due to Ed’s determination, perseverance and generally good decision making. And this is only part of his job.