The Quarry Farm’s Spring 2016 intern has been working with us for seven solid weeks now. Last week, I suggested that she might like a nice t-shirt with honeysuckle leaves imprinted across the front. Her response was to fall forward on the ground and curl her dancer-like frame into a fetal position.
But Emma has made a break in the invasive’s hold on the forest of The Quarry Farm. She’s shed her long sleeves in favor of cool Ts as the temperatures rose from the 30s to today’s high 80s, so she no longer has to roll up her sleeves to pull bush honeysuckle seedlings. The exposed skin has made her more vulnerable to insects and an overprotective goose, but this Antioch College first-year has accepted the challenge.
Along the way, she’s taken a few photos. You’ll already know that, though, if you’ve been following along. Here is the latest album.
Can you find the cricket frog above? There’s a free Quarry Farm t-shirt in it for the person who comments here at http://www.thequarryfarm.org with what kind of cricket frog it is.
While Intern Emma has pulled invasive bush honeysuckle this week, she has also been snapping photos. Shuffle through the mosaic below to see at what she has documented in her first two weeks here.
(FYI: that’s a number sign in the title, not a hashtag, although you may see some of this on Twitter. More to come, I have no doubt.)
On Saturday, my old frayed running shoes picked up another layer of camouflage.
Easter Eve started out chilly, with thick frost and a skim of ice on the goats’ and donkeys’ water pans. On the quarry, wood duck and mallard couples made come-hither eyes at each other until we spoiled the fun. Wood ducks skittered over the east bank and a mallard duck “wank, wank, wanked” toward Riley Creek, her emerald-headed, testosterone-addled suitor in pursuit.
The turtles were more confident, waiting until we had our cameras out before they slid below water surfaces. Steve found one crossing between Cranberry Run and the oxbow “cut-off”, a wetland left when Allen County engineers tried to tame the little creek’s meanderings half a century ago.
We saw bloodroot leaves uncurling from the ground. Native Americans used the red extract from this wildflower’s roots as a natural dye, most notably for basket weaving. Above ground and growing wild in the sunlit clearing around the old homesteads well north of the tallgrass meadow, the bloodroot flowers bloom.
A few spring beauties and ramps dot the southeast ridge as it rises east of the cut-off. In the warmer air and spongy soil in the U of the oxbow, three toadshade trilliums fan over moss and decaying stumps crawling with industrious crustaceans.
Steve counted four species of butterfly, including two red admirals duking it out with anglewings–commas or question marks?–a camera-shy mourning cloak and a spring azure doing some sort of strange contortions in the back field.
We also picked up several bottles and cans, one with the smaller V from an old pull tab. These are the ‘blooms’ that are best picked. Never planted is even better.