On a pleasantly cool day, Pete and Bev Fink, Brad Young and I participated in a Shenandoah National Park Exotic Plants Management day at Big Meadows. Four other people, who had experience with controlling invasive plants joined ranger Cindy Blugerman.
We walked past the area where some of us removing oriental lady’s thumb last year and saw that it was pleasingly free of invasive plants, but a bittersweet vine cut last year had regrown. Further along the Story of the Forest trail, in the swamp area, we started pulling lady’s thumb, and some stilt grass and occasional garlic mustard. The plants were unevenly distributed so people roamed far to find some of the plants. Although we are well into summer, many of the lady’s thumb were not flowering which made identification more difficult.
After lunch, which included cranberry oatmeal loaf, we moved to an area where lady’s thumb were not merely weeds growing amongst other plants, but ground cover. We worked on this area until it was close to finish time, then headed back, with a couple of stops to pull trail side weeds. During the day, we explained to several groups what we were doing.
It was a good day for invasive plant control; we saw areas free of invasive plants, we cleared an area of lady’s thumb and saw an area where invasive plant removal was successful. The Park Service was, as usual, grateful for our assistance in keeping SNP natural.