Montgomery Report of the Fall Workday
Friday October 21, 2016
Present: Wayne and Lynda Buck, Fraser Gibson, Jim Cappleman, Paul Bigelow, Donna and Marco DeBruin, Graham & Margaret Macdonald
Absent with regret: Pat Bigelow, Ross Dickson and April Morrisey
Nine committee members met at 9 am in a steady but light rain and entered the property. The sign posted on our main road sign closing Montgomery due to the presence of hogweed (late June) was removed as were all other “closed” signage. Jim Cappleman had in September installed the new permanent sign warning of the presence of Giant Hogweed on the property.
Old signs on trail posts that said features were missing were very belatedly removed; the new trail guide, now 3 years old, describes new features at those trail posts. Jim and Paul cleared the trail. Overall it was fairly clear but there were a couple of large trees that had fallen across the trail that required their attention. The trail posts were in place and the features present at each post.
Wood duck box east (near the vernal pools) contained only a few nondescript feathers – no sign of egg debris or any nesting.
The west box by the Nith contained a new squirrel nest of fresh leaves, 1 infertile egg, 2 unbroken eggs that looked as if they had been pierced by a stick as if close to hatch, and also egg shell debris so definite successful nesting indicated. The boxes were cleaned and fresh wood chips put in.
Property markers were checked. Number 8 could not be found and that was the same at our last check. There was no sign of any disruption on the property camping, fires, garbage disposal etc. Marco saw a downy woodpecker. There is increased evidence of downed ash trees while Wayne noticed regeneration of Bur Oak, which is encouraging. Marco and Fraser observed extensive new areas of periwinkle. As tarps were not moved in spring 2016, spring 2017 many tarps should be moved to new areas. The only two tarps that should not be moved are two newly donated tarps that were put down last year.
Next spring’s priorities will be to move tarps, locate and mark hogweed plants, plus doing our regular trail checks and trail marking. Equipment required for hogweed removal and a storage container will be purchased before next spring. A process will be set up for hogweed removal personnel to access it as necessary. We will prepare a hogweed monitoring plan and a process to arrange for hogweed removal when necessary. We will continue our garlic mustard removal day. For our garlic mustard activity we always ask for volunteers and it may be a good idea to ask for volunteers for our spring workday. The tarp moves require strength so we could appeal on that basis and see if we can attract some strong arms.
Thank you to our committee members who continue to come out whatever the weather and make the morning a pleasure. Thank you all so very much!