Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In the morning

Last evening ended with that swirling, misty rain that does little more than fog your glasses and blow up under your umbrella making everything damp and nothing wet. This morning the rain was a little more earnest and I know the gauges on various rivers will start their climb putting the rivers in a condition that makes them less than inviting. With all the rain and gloom I'm replaying a couple of photos I took last week.

I got up early on Sunday morning, though not as early as most weekdays, and caught the sun just starting to do the things that it does most days when I'm otherwise distracted.

Sam and I spent some time fishing a local Brook Trout stream two weeks ago. I submitted an article to one of the online fishing magazines. If it doesn't get published I'll post the full story here. Below is one of the photos of the Brookies we caught. They're spunky little critters.

All around our area are little oases of ruraldom. They're generally old farms that have been given to conservation organizations. These are then turned into hiking trails and the like. One farm we visit a couple of times a year is surrounded by a bountiful harvest of housing developments. Marking the border between rural and suburban habitats is a lovely sampling of invasive plants.

Autumn or Russian Olive (or one of the Olives). Hardy opportunist.

Multiflora Rose. The blossoms are aromatic and lovely. Snuffs out natives.

Oriental Bittersweet. Pretty. It hangs on everything and chokes it to death.

Most of these came into the country as specimen plants for gardens. With few natural predators and lots of disturbed landscapes that provide fertile ground they've out competed native flora and now run rampant. Give some thought before you buy that pretty Asian plant at the nursery. It could be the next Bittersweet.


  1. Perhaps we should just recognize some invasives as natives. I mean, presumably we did this a long time ago when someone deemed the early invaders (they all invade, right?) as "native". We need to recalibrate to keep step with evolution.

    Which reminds me, I must apply for citizenship.

  2. Yeah, I'm not eager to eradicate the devils; it's a losing battle. They're established, let's move on. But we've gotta stop bringing these things in. The root systems on these plants are crap and they love to perch on the edge of streams. Those unstable banks tend to silt in spawning grounds.

  3. Jonny,

    This is just another of your ridiculous ideas.

    Carry on.

  4. Leaving the invasives or applying for citizenship?

  5. Don't pay him no notice Steve. His problem is that I said the word "evolution". He fell in with those crazy denialists when he moved to Ohio.

  6. I wouldn't deny it, he hasn't evolved much.

  7. Invasive plant eradication is pretty much a fool's game on the east coast. 400 years of European and Asian plant try to tell me you're going to "eradicate" English Ivy. Hahahahaha.

    Currently, scientists are looking at ways to ecologically "triage" Phragmites (Euro. Reed) invasions, so that the worst areas are just left for dead - too hard to fight them. Too expensive.

    Yes, there's the rare opportunity to stop a new expansion of a species, but we seem to miss those opportunities too (I was just the second person in Maryland to document Japanese hops in 2001(2002?) it's everywhere).

    Only smart thing to do is just stop the new ones from coming in.

  8. River: Agreed. I fight the good fight against Japanese Knotweed in our neighborhood but it's just keeping them out of spitting distance from the house. All is lost in that battle.

  9. I may be missing the point, or perhaps not wanting to comment on it. But I will say that first photo is beautiful. Well done.

  10. Brk: Thanks. Yeah, not sure there was a point and anytime Jonny & TJ get on a roll you know it's going to get existential. But that's the beauty of Sipping Emergers; it's like a box full of chocolates.

  11. "Characterized by a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world."


    The second photo has refreshing variation.

  12. It is the raison d'ĂȘtre.

    When I say the Brookie photo in the camera I immediately took another one to ensure I got a "good" picture. But when I downloaded it and gave it a good look I thought it really captured the essence of the Brook Trout; wild, baby, wild.

  13. I see you your Oriental Bittersweet and raise you several hundred clumps of barberry....

    Vile stuff...

    Oh and nice fish...


  14. Sam: Agreed. That stuff'll impale an armadillo.

  15. Great photos. I'm with Brk Trt, the first photo is spectacular.

    I like the fact that some of those old farms have been donated to conservation groups and are now in use with hiking and the like...pretty cool stuff.

  16. Thx, Sanders. Yeah, the land trusts in our area seem to do well. It's refreshing to see some of the sprawl abated.