Photo essay: From Landfill to Nature Renascence
by the Northline Nature Stewards (October 14, 2022)
The thrill of spotting wildlife takes on new meaning when you find it at a site that you’re stewarding. Two regular Northline stewards, Paul Reeves and Conrad Barrington, are also talented nature photographers who have been capturing the magic at “our” site. Their images offer a tantalising glimpse into some of the flora and fauna at Northline this fall, and underscore the site’s gradual transformation from former landfill to wildlife haven.
This juvenile Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) was one of a flock that was attracted to the berries of a large Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) tree at the site on October 3. Any berries ingested will, unfortunately, help spread the invasive buckthorn far and wide via bird droppings. A wasp augmented the berry feast. Photo: Paul Reeves
Lynne Barrington, Lead Steward (August 11, 2022)
We’ve achieved a lot in the past two months at Northline. Many challenges still lie ahead, but, as you can see from the list below, when you document the collective work we’ve done, it’s truly quite impressive.
Water access for Northline secured
Rains on July 18 + 24 arrived in the nick of time for some of the recently-planted trees, which were wilting in the summer heat. But, thanks to the combined efforts of Paula Davies, Eduardo Lage and forrester Stephen Smith, we now have access to running water for the site. A business adjacent to the area we are focusing on, Oriole Landscaping, has kindly agreed to donate water for the trees. Going forward, we will be able to obtain water from their taps as needed.
Humane deer deterrents are working
All of the enclosures now have dead tree branches (and, even better, dead buckthorn!) secured along the perimeters. Together with the fencing, it seems to be making a real difference in keeping deer away from the precious native trees and shrubs that were planted at the end of May.
Many thanks to Paula Davies for the great suggestion, to Doug Wilson for the many hours he has spent cutting the branches and buckthorn to a suitable size, to Luciana Schuetze and Eduardo Lage for the idea of weaving them into the fence, and everyone else for putting them in place.
First signs that we’re defeating Dog-strangling vine
Facing a malevolent DSV monoculture as we do at Northline is daunting. But there are signs that we are winning against it in the tree enclosures – at last! Our stewardship event on July 31 marked the first time that we found only the odd DSV plant inside the enclosures when we arrived. Grasses and goldenrod were springing up in its place. Special thanks to Doug Wilson, Paul Reeves, Thomas Phillips, Conrad Barrington and Su Su Yin for your determined efforts to rid the site of this menacing invasive.
Contributing to our new plant inventory
Have you spotted anything other than DSV at Northline? Paula Davies pointed out some fox sedge (Carex vulpinoidea) recently, and I have duly added it to a plant inventory that I’ve started compiling for the site. As we continue with our stewardship activities, please let me know if you see any plants you think should be included in the list. Our goal will be to document all plants, including invasives, to create a comprehensive record and help monitor our progress.
Tackling phragmites at our next stewardship event
on August 28 (9-11:00 a.m.)
A small patch of phragmites has taken up residence a short distance away from the trees we are nurturing. At our next volunteer event, we plan to take the first step towards eradicating it from Northline by cutting down the seed heads that are currently there. If you happen to have secateurs, it would be helpful if you could bring them along.
Thank you, once again, for your amazing dedication and hard work. See you on the 28th!