Posted on June 30, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
With a wet spring, many of us in the high desert found our property inundated with more water in a shorter time period than usual. Gutters run full, storm drains clog and create puddles…and yet -irrigation systems still continue to sprinkle gentle droplets on saturated lawns… “What?” That’s right, even when lawns and soils are saturated to the point of runoff from natural rainfall, we saw many this spring still operating their irrigation systems fully. As water is one of our most precious resources, we at CSR, Inc. have some basic and simple suggestions to help you save it!
Install an evapotranspiration (ET) sensor on your existing irrigation system. When installed on your irrigation system, the ET sensor will cancel that day’s watering if there has been adequate rainfall, the air temperature is near or below freezing, or the wind is blowing enough that any water coming from your sprays would end up on your neighbor’s lawn or the street. In addition, these systems utilize historic data from your region to adjust your watering run times automatically depending on the time of year. ET sensors use data you input about your soil type, plant type, sun exposure and establishment stage of plants or turf.
Not feeling the need for something this complex? A product called Solar Sync will use historical ET data for your region, combined with current temperature and solar radiation to automatically adjust your station run times. The Solar Sync will also cancel your daily watering in freezing temperatures or rain fall.
Contact us and we can provide a quote for installation & materials!
(Post entry and photos from CSR Designer, Julie)
Filed under: Conservation | Tagged: saving water | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 29, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Coprinus comatus, “Shaggy Mane or Shaggy Ink Cap”, is a common fungus often seen growing on lawns, along gravel roads and waste areas. The young fruiting bodies first appear as white cylinders emerging from the ground, then the bell-shaped caps open out. The caps are white, and covered with scales – this is the origin of the common names of the fungus. The gills beneath the cap are white, then pink, then turn black and secrete a black liquid filled with spores (hence the “ink cap” name). This mushroom is unusual because it will turn black and dissolve itself in a matter of hours after being picked or depositing spores.
When young it is an excellent edible mushroom provided that it is eaten soon after being collected (it keeps very badly because of the auto digestion of its gills and cap). If long-term storage is desired, sauteing or simmering until done will allow you to either store the mushrooms in the refrigerator for several days or freeze them. Processing must be done whether for eating or storage within four to six hours of harvest to prevent undesirable changes to the mushroom. The species is cultivated in China as food.
We express caution when eating wild mushrooms! Be sure you know exactly what you have collected before consuming.
A great on-line source is David Fischer’s American Mushroom
IF IN DOUBT, THROW THE MUSHROOM OUT!
Filed under: Discovery, education | Tagged: Mushroom | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 28, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Native Focus: Geum triflorum, Prairie Smoke/Old Man’s Whiskers. This attractive perennial grows 6-18 in. with foot-wide, basal clumps of ferny, blue-green, hairy leaves and reddish-purple, bell-shaped flowers that hang in groups of three. Clumps of feathery, plumed, pink-gray fruits stay on the plant much of the summer. The leaves of prairie smoke turn deep red in fall and are sometimes evergreen. Butterflies love this plant!
After fertilization, the bell-like flowers turn upward and plumes begin to grow from the pistils, ready to be caught by the wind or a passing animal and the seed so dispersed.
Filed under: Native Focus | Tagged: native plants | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 25, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
This Monarch was tagged in Missouri this past fall by CSR Biologist, Kent.
Monarch larvae appear to feed exclusively on milkweeds in the genus Asclepias and several other genera of milkweeds in North America. In the Midwest, milkweeds were historically common and widespread on prairies, but habitat destruction has reduced their range and numbers.
Most Milkweed species are toxic to vertebrate herbivores if ingested due to the cardenolide alkaloids contained in the leaves and stems. When Monarch larvae ingest milkweed, they also ingest the plants’ toxins, called cardiac glycosides. They sequester these compounds in their wings and exoskeletons, making the larvae and adults toxic to many potential predators. Vertebrate predators may avoid Monarchs because they learn that the larvae and adults taste bad and/or make them vomit. There is considerable variation in the amount of toxins in different species of plants. Some northern species of milkweed contain almost no toxins while others seem to contain so much of the toxins that they are lethal even to monarch caterpillars.
Read more about the Monarch Butterfly in Robert Michael Pyle’s book : Chasing Monarchs: Migrating with the Butterflies of Passage and follow along at monarchwatch.org
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Posted on June 24, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Did you know that Blue Flax, Linum lewisii, blossoms only last one day? Each stem of the Blue Flax produces several flowers, blooming from the bottom upward. The seeds are produced on the lower flowers while those above continue to bloom.
Filed under: Discovery | Tagged: native plants | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 23, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Lance, CSR Construction Team Manager, spotted these hawks last week while maintaining stewardship for a long-time client in the Picabo ID area. Restoring proper habitat for wildlife is a main objective for CSR Inc.
Native landscapes, from residential to larger-scale restorations, positively impact the quality of the environment by improving air, water and soil throughout the community while providing habitat for local and migratory wildlife, birds and insects.
Filed under: Construction, Restoration | Tagged: wildlife | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 22, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Lupinus -there are more than 200 species of Lupine!
The species are mostly herbaceous perennial plants, 1–5 ft tall. They have a characteristic and easily recognised leaf shape, with soft green to grey-green leaves which in many species bear silvery hairs, often densely so. The leaf blades are usually palmately divided into 5–28 leaflets or reduced to a single leaflet in a few species of the southeastern United States. The flowers are produced in dense or open whorls on an erect spike, each flower 1-2 cm long, with a typical peaflower shape with an upper ‘standard’ or ‘banner’, two lateral ‘wings’ and two lower petals fused as a ‘keel’. Due to the flower shape, several species are known as bluebonnets or quaker bonnets. The fruit is a pod containing several seeds.
Like most members of their family, lupins can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into ammonia via a rhizobium-root nodule symbiosis, fertilizing the soil for other plants, this adaption allows lupins to be tolerant of infertile soils and capable of pioneering change in barren and poor quality soils. The genus Lupinus is nodulated by Bradyrhizobium soil bacteria. Some species have a long central tap roots, or have proteoid roots.
CSR Inc. has Lupines native to the Northwest available from our Nursery. We offer Lupinus arbustus (longspur lupine), Lupinus argenteus (silvery lupine), Lupinus sericeus (silky lupine).
Filed under: Native Focus, Nursery | Tagged: native plants | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 21, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
The Sweetwater Events Complex is home to “Wyoming’s Big Show”, from an exhibit hall, grandstands, indoor arena, midway and even a speedway! This cabin, which was originally located in Hudson WY, is used for educational purposes such as school field trips and “Frontier Days”. Last fall Conservation Seeding & Restoration Inc. hydro-seeded a native seed mix, and installed sod to the historical log cabin. As you can see in the photos above, the native grasses are starting to pop!
Just another part of history CSR Inc. had the pleasure of restoring.
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Posted on June 18, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Native Focus: Sagebrush Bluebells, Mertensia oblongifolia, is a species of flowering plant in the borage family known by the common names oblongleaf bluebells and sagebrush bluebells. It is native to the western United States, where it grows in several types of habitat, including meadows and sagebrush. It is a perennial herb producing an many erect stems from a thick, branching caudex, approaching 40 centimeters in maximum height. The leaves are oval to lance-shaped, located all along the stem. The inflorescence is a dense, sometimes crowded cluster of hanging blue tubular flowers with expanded, bell-like mouths. The flower measures 1 to 2 centimeters long, blooming in April, May and June.
These clusters of Sagebrush Bluebells were photographed a few weeks ago by CSR’s Matt Greer near Sublett Reservoir, ID.
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Posted on June 17, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
We want to encourage you to get outside and explore Idaho’s beautiful State Parks this summer. How many native plants can you spot, how many invasive weeds can you identify? Grab a native Wildflower Handbook and an Idaho Invasive Weeds pocket guide to help you on your search…we would love to see your photos and can answer your questions about native and invasive plants. Good Luck!
Photo of Castle Rocks State Park, south of Arimo in South Central Idaho.
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