We pulled garlic mustard and butterweed inside the trail loop at Paddock, in a spot that is wet in normal years. This is far from a normal year and the ground was uniformly hard and dry. It's quite impressive that so many plants, native and not, are able to grow with such a paucity of moisture.
Butterwwed (Packera glabella) is interesting. It's native to southern Illinois, has moved into the central part of the state and now is appearing in our area. It seems quite opportunistic, quickly forming large patches in disturbed areas. Though said to favor wet to moist ground, this spring's crop is faring despite the current drought. Butterweed may well, with climate change, become part of our normal flora in years to come.
We had three first-time Palos volunteers; thank you Brigida, Julia, and Rhonda for your terrific help.
Swallow Cliff South Sunday May 23
Another Sunday, another garlic mustard hunt. This one went well. We started at our work site of 2018-2020, worked around to the marshy area behind it, and finished in the area where we cleared brush earlier this spring.
Our picking team included five first-time Palos volunteers; Andrea, Mallory, Daniel, Kylin, and Sylvia. All are members of November Project Chicago, fitness enthusiasts who meet for their group workouts at 6:00 am on Friday mornings. That start time is way beyond commendable in my book. They quickly developed an eye for garlic mustard, spotting plants from trail-side with veteran savvy.