Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm-- Ohio River Bluffs
Just west of Manchester on the Ohio River on Route 52

Part of the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System
Eleven preserve regions, 3000 acres and growing!! 

First view of the woods.

Garlic mustard pullers arriving.

We're here to spend a day in the spring woods plucking garlic mustard among the native wildflowers,
listening to the birds chorusing in the spring woods. It's delightful work, so long as you can bend over easily.

Larkspur and  Bluebells

The Ohio River Bluffs, wildflower gem of the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System,
has a dense proliferation of dwarf larkspurs, bluebells, and wild hyacinths.
Most of the rest of the Bluffs' region, a unique ecosystem east of Cincinnati on the
Ohio River, has already been lost to bush honeysuckle and garlic mustard.
Ohio River Bluff's is one of the last tracts representing this ecosystem that is relatively intact.

Garlic mustard is a major challenge to land stewards but is not a biological enemy.
It is simply a victim of being transplanted away from its "home ecosystem"
without its customary assemblage of native fungi and insects.

Getting the description of our work for the day.

Our trail.

Ready to go.

Garlic mustard everywhere!

Garlic mustard is benign and beautiful at home in the floodplains of the British Isles.
Introduced accidentally here in the United States this vigorous biannual is
threatening to replace native wildflower assemblages with a monoculture of
its own sowing. Pretty as it is, we certainly don't choose it over trilliums, wild ginger,
jack in the pulpits, Solomon's seal and wild geraniums!!

Garlic mustard secretes a chemical from its roots injurious to the growth of tree seedlings, which means, once it carpets a forest, we
might lose even more than the wildflowers when it comes time for  the standing trees to be replaced by a new generation of saplings.

After we pull it, we twist it and hang bundles in trees or on the bare trail to dry out.

Ari with a bunch of garlic mustard.

Dave Liggett, Photographer (

Blue-eyed Mary

Lunch break.

Riders out enjoying the day.


Last patch for the day (before).

Last patch for the day (after).