Next to one of the refuge visitor’s centers, of which there are two, were many patches of crown vetch and leafy spurge. Both of these are invasive species the refuge is trying to eradicate. Since Brad has gone on vacation to a music festival and Becky and Ann were working in Louisville that left Eric and me to record the number and sizes of the patches before any treatment methods were applied to the area.
The refuge wants to compare different techniques for invasive plant removal to determine which methods best remove the undesired plants while leaving the native ﬂora undisturbed. We began this morning but didn’t get to finish due to a lightning storm that rolled in and has been continuing since then; its 4:11 pm as I type this.
It was a bit of a shame to quit before the job was finished. We got so wet that when we made our way inside the visitor’s center for shelter it looked like we’d been wading in the nearby Minnesota River instead of being on “dry” land.
Nonetheless, it was definitely worth being out in the elements, even though I suspect my jeans will never be dry again. The lightning shows in Minnesota are much brighter and send more bolts down to earth and through the sky than the ones I’m used to. If absolutely nothing else, I’ll remember the thunderstorms here for years to come.