On Friday, August 12 we went from managing weeds in the mountains, to those by the sea. Lucky us! We met Park Ranger Mark Grist at Cates Park to launch the Ranger boat and headed up beautiful Indian Arm for a day of invasive plant control. One cannot overstate the beauty of the Arm. Wonderful scenery, interesting architecture and the sea air! The first site we stopped at was most interesting. An infestation of Knotweed that appeared on a beach. Just this one infestation between the forest edge and the beach about 12m wide by maybe 18m long. It seems that the privacy provided by the knotweed had made a perfect hide out for who knows what on the beach as someone had clearly made a "doorway" into the infestation.
The crew treated the knotweed and I (Jen) hiked around in the surrounding forest with Mark looking for anymore knotweed that may have been hiding in the forest. It was a great relief to us that the infestation had not spread and we are hopeful that one more follow up treatment after this should take care of it! The question is, how the heck did it get there? The closest infestation of knotweed is 25km away. We'd love to hear your theories on this! The best we could come up with is that it floated on the water. It seems unlikely to us that it would've come with someone who stopped at this site by boat. There are no roads around. That's weeds for you, they always seems to leave you scratching your head.
After that, we headed further up the Arm to treat a species we don't often treat or manage for anymore.... Himalayan Blackberry! A popular recreation area was beginning to see an infestation that could've quickly taken over the entire area. What a treat for us to get a crack at Himalayan Blackberry! So often we find ourselves having to walk past it and leave it as it just doesn't make the priority list in many of the more urban areas we treat.
Our second blackberry site of the day (yes, second) was on the Twin Islands. Once again the crew thoroughly enjoyed being able to do this! This has really made me realize how important invasive plant management is in our BC Parks. These are some of the last remaining "pristine" areas we have in our region and we need to keep them that way! What an opportunity for us to have a learning ground to see an intact ecosystem. Very interesting on this site was an infestation of English Ivy and another ornamental variety of ivy. Again, how did it get there?? What do you think? Would someone have brought it with them? Do birds spread it? More head scratching.... We are happy to report that we freed several trees and treated all of it. I look forward to going back in a few weeks to see how things are looking.
After a loooong, hot day, we were still sad that our amazing day battling weeds by boat was over. The places we have been this summer are truly amazing and I find myself thinking what an awesome place we live in, and this only motivates me to keep up the good fight.