Winter Arrives at Mayslake

by Carl Strang

It took until the middle of January, but at last we got a snowstorm worthy of the name. The 4-6 inches of windblown white stuff provided the conditions needed for a crew to begin burning the year’s worth of accumulated brush piles from the restoration program.

The sterilized circles create little spots for invasion or seeding. Hm, I should consider mapping these and documenting the succession that occurs on them.

The white backdrop also allows me to resume collecting photos of plants in winter. On Friday I made a start with white vervain.

Overall, white vervain has a thin and spindly look.

Up close, the tiny bumps where flowers were located give the plant a grainy texture.

A peek back at the plant when it was blooming makes sense of its winter form.

Here you can see where those little bumps come from. Some of the nettle-like leaves remain attached in winter, but they are dark brown and so curled up that their shape is difficult to discern.

I had taken photos of the compass plant flowering stalk, but needed one of the leaves.

Compass plant leaves are large, and stiff enough to hold their shape for easy identification in winter.

Plenty of plants remain at Mayslake to be so documented.

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