Friday, August 27, 2010

The Brook

(Alfred Lord Tennyson 1809-1892)
I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Identifying Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven)

The Ailanthus is an invasive species of tree in Ohio.  It is common in this area, and is spreading rapidly.  It is often mistaken for Black Walnut and allowed to grow, producing massive amounts of seed and reproducing.
It forms thickets, crowding out more desireable species of trees.  It is a fast growing, short lived tree, and the wood is not useful for timber or for firewood.  Once established, it becomes difficult and costly to eradicate, so keeping an eye out for young trees and removing them immediately is prefered. 

Here is an easy way to discern between the compound leaves of young Ailanthus vs Black Walnuts. 
Ailanthus has less than ten pairs of veins in each leaflet, and has a notch at the base of each leaflet.
Black Walnut has more than 10 pairs of veins in each leaflet, and does not have a notch. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The latest buzz - invasive species "Spotted Knapweed"

Spotted Knapweed has been "spotted" in Guernsey County.  Its been reported to our office in the Quaker City area, and also in the Cumberland area.
It is a short-lived perennial or biennial that grows 2-3 feet tall.  Seedlings develop the first year into lowgrowing rosettes.  From July to September it produces pink to purple flowers that look similar to thistles.  These flowers die down to brown seeds with with a plume of soft greyish bristles.   It infests hayfields, pastures and roadsides.  It is native to Europe and Asia.  It has a long taproot, and the plant exudes a toxin that kills neighboring plants' roots.   Since this toxin can irritate some people's skin, care should be taken when working with it. 
Sheep and goats will readily graze this weed when it is in the young growth stage.  As it matures, it becomes less palatable as bitter compounds called cnicin build up in the plant.  A diet of more than 70% knapweed can cause health issues. 
Over time, grazing will weaken the plant.  This means of control is most effective when used in combination with chemical controls.  It is very effective in reducing seed production when grazed twice, once at the rosette to bolt stage, and again at the bud stage. 
(this info from the American Sheep Industry)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Call for candidates for Board of Supervisors

If you would like to run for the Guernsey SWCD board of supervisors, please contact the committee chairperson, Bill Bertram at 740-658-3150 by September 3rd, or call our office for a petition.  The petition should be signed by 10 Guernsey county residents, and be turned into the office by close of business on September 15th. 
The annual meeting and election will be held on October 21st at the Secrest Center in Senecaville. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Farmer's Market Display

Here is summer intern Seth Woodford helping man the display on pollinators at the Camrbidge Farmers Market this past Friday morning. 

More Conservation Camp Photos

This is Dee Carter, a retired science teacher.  Dee has been volunteering for many years.  Her class learned about the effects of pollution and litter on wildlife.  One of the experiments was straight from the day's headlines as the kids did experiments on the effects of oiling on feathers and eggs.
In the foreground below is youth volunteer Katie Hodges.  Katie attended camp for several years, and is now donating her time to help.  On the left are staff member Joe Lehman and summer intern, Seth Woodford.
The kids are playing a game of tag that helps them understand how habitat changes - namely shelter and food - effect the populations of both predator and prey.
Volunteer teacher Gina Anderson helped the kids design and dye their T-shirts they got to take home as a souvenir of the camp.Seth Woodford taught the class on building birdhouses.  The first picture shows volunteer Bob Luddington assisting some of the campers to assemble the birdhouse.  The second picture shows Seth passing out all the parts of the houses.  The kids got to take home their completed birdhouse to provide habitat in their own backyard.

Friday, August 13, 2010

2010 Conservation Campers

What a GREAT group of kids!   This is the whole gang at Seneca Lake.   Besides the kids, in the back row are Elias Vaughn, Bob Luddington, Myron Dellinger, and Seth Woodford who volunteered to help this year.  We could not have done it without them!
More photos next week after I recover from two long, HOT, but very funfilled days at camp.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pollinator display at the Cambridge Farmer's Market

Look for us at the farm market in downtown Cambridge on Friday morning!  We'll have a display on pollinators, and have buckeye bracelets for the kids.

Pollinator-Friendly Activities

Here are some simple steps you can take in your yard to create habitat and help pollinators survive and thrive.
  1. Plant a pollinator garden.  Pollinator gardening is fun.  Check out:    This website offers gardening instructions along with educational and curriculum resources.
  2. Reduce chemical misuse.  Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce damage to your plants and to protect pollinators by using less chemicals.  You could intersperse food plants, like tomatoes, with inedible plants like marigolds.  Marigolds are known to attract pest insects away from food plants.  
  3. Reduce your area of lawn grass.  Grass lawns offer little food or shelter for most wildlife, including pollinators.  You can replace grass with a wild meadow or prairie plants.  For a neater look, make a perennial border with native plants.  Plants native to our area are adapted to your soil type, climate, precipitation, and local pollinators.  You can get a list of plants native to our area at:
  4. Provide water.  All wildlife, including pollinators, need water.  Some butterfly species sip water from muddy puddles to quench their thirst and get important minerals.  You can provide water in a birdbath or even a shallow dish place on the ground.  Be sure to change the water frequently to prevent mosquitoes.