Honeysuckle Signpost

by Carl Strang

Last week I was walking through the south savanna at Mayslake Forest Preserve when my eye was drawn to this old signpost.

The post once held a sign warning people to stay away from the friary, which was demolished last year.

What struck me was how the post was partly surrounded by a honeysuckle bush.

This vase-like, fanning array of stems is typical of honeysuckles.

No one would have forced their way into the bush to place the sign, so it seems likely that the bush grew up after the sign was in the ground. Furthermore, the sign may be responsible for the bush being there. Honeysuckles disperse with the aid of birds, which eat their berries.

Fruits of amur honeysuckle.

I am guessing that a robin, a catbird or one of the other species that eat these berries, facing south while perched on the sign, ejected the seed which had passed through its digestive tract, planting the bush which ultimately embraced the north side of the signpost.



  1. PointSpecial said,

    April 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Would you consider removing a human-placed item such as that which has outgrown its usefulness?

    Or, maybe more appropriately, to what extent should areas changed by humans be changed back to what they were like prior to humans (or like in cases like this, human items be removed)?

    • natureinquiries said,

      April 6, 2011 at 5:47 am

      Yes, absolutely. There is no historic value in keeping this signpost. The south savanna is under restoration management, and the friary demolition process is still a few steps short of completion. Both the sign and the honeysuckle will be removed.

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