A young Italian thistle.
I know what all five of you who read this blog are thinking: “Oh no, not again!” you’re groaning. And I don’t blame you.
Yet again I’m blogging about invasive species management on the Overlook and Montini properties, as I have for years. But as you might imagine, there’s a reason for that, and it’s because we’re in a decades-long fight that we may never win. So buckle up, buttercup, here we go again!
I first sighted Italian thistle popping up in early November. Certainly by November 8, two days earlier than last year, I noticed more than one patch of it. Therefore, today I went out on the Montini Preserve and pulled not only the one pictured plant (the largest one I found today), but also many other, much smaller plants. The game is definitely already afoot, thanks to some early rains.
So far I’ve been unable to tell if our previous work has made much of an impact on the problem. My instinct is that we haven’t yet, that we still have a ways to go to seriously reduce the seed bank present in the soil. There seem to be plenty of plants along the trail on the Montini, which is where I’ve focused much of my attention, so there doesn’t seem to be much progress there. Yet.
But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that invasive species management is a long game. And few people know what the long game takes better than I do, I submit. So once again I saddle up, and enter the fray. I’ll see you out there.
Experience Sonoma History
on a Walk through Sonoma Mountain Cemetery
Saturday, October 29
Times: 10:00 OR 12:30 pm
Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards invite you to join us on a lively, informative walk through our historic cemetery with our own amateur historian Fred Allebach.
Meet ranchers and ranch hands, real estate tycoons, farmers and farriers, carpenters and stone masons, quarrymen, grocers, butchers, bakers, maybe a candlestick maker, and many more!
This fundraising event is limited to 25 participants per hike. Your $35 donation includes the walking tour, cookies and cider. All proceeds go directly to support Sonoma Overlook Trail. The Overlook is funded solely by private donations.
Since rain was predicted for today (and it came!) I headed out earlier in the week with a mattock to clear trail drainage channels, which had become clogged with rocks, leaves and miscellaneous debris since spring. Water must be guided off our trails immediately or else it will erode the trail and harm it, especially over time. Plus we don’t want the soil that gets eroded to end up in our waterways.
I also cut new ones where I thought they may be needed. Some of this work is obvious, but I know that additional work will be needed once we actually have flowing water on the trails and can see the trouble spots, where water is pooling or running down the trail.
This is just one task that the volunteer stewards group does throughout the year to keep our trails safe and well-maintained.
Please join us for a lively, informative walk through our historic Mountain Cemetery with amateur historian Fred Allebach. Meet cowboys and Indians, ranchers and real estate tycoons, farmers and farriers, carpenters and stone masons, quarry-men, grocers, butchers, bakers, maybe a candlestick maker, and many more!
There is a $35 fee to raise money for maintaining the Overlook Trail.
Saturday, November 2, 2019, sign up for one of two hikes: 10:00 AM or 12 Noon — SIGNUP
Add to Calendar
Meet at the Overlook Trail Kiosk
90 First Street West
Sonoma, CA 95476
Sonoma Overlook Trail