POLLINATING BUMBLEBEE VISITS BLOOMING BLOODROOT IN MORRIS PARK, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

APRIL 9TH, 2014, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-  Breaking: This just in, fresh as the white flowers blooming before your eyes is the news: A bumblebee was spotted pollinating the Bloodroot in Morris Park !

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 Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 9, 2014, www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 9, 2014, www.thesanguineroot.com

Where is this Bee? Wait and you will see! Until then enjoy the blooming flowers and see if you spot any other pollinating insects.

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 Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 9, 2014, www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 9, 2014, www.thesanguineroot.com

Removing those exotic Ailanthus trees and Norway Maples as well as Japanese Honeysuckle and Garlic mustard has likely made a difference in this patch. It is so huge and picturesque now, and there are so many native pollinating insects buzzing around it. 6 years ago it was just a few plants under a mass of vines. In other areas nearby that we have not removed the invasives, there are no early spring blooming wildflowers, no bees, no pollinators. Now there are many more patches of Bloodroot than  there were back in 2007, when we started mapping the populations and individual specimens.

 Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 9, 2014, www.thesanguineroot.com
  Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 9, 2014, www.thesanguineroot.com

IMG_5214 IMG_5216 IMG_5220 IMG_5221 IMG_5234 IMG_5241 IMG_5251And the star of the show has arrived! This bumblebee visited many flowers and was a joy to see.

 Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 9, 2014, www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 9, 2014, www.thesanguineroot.com

IMG_5272 IMG_5277 IMG_5287Springtime is here!

 

 

BLOOMING BLOODROOT AND SPICEBUSH, MORRIS PARK, PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 8TH, 2014

Bloodroot is blooming in Morris Park. Over the next few weeks look for the fresh white flowers on warm, sunny afternoons on some of the well-drained south and west facing hillsides, especially near the park entrance at Morris Park Road, a bit up the trails. If you show up at our door and we are home we will gladly show you the blooming patches!

Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 8th, 2014.www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 8th, 2014.www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 8th, 2014.www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 8th, 2014.www.thesanguineroot.com

If you see us walking slowly along the paths, staring at the ground, we have not lost our marbles, we are actually looking to see the Bloodroot flowers, which can sometimes escape the eyes of the unaware.

Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 8th, 2014.www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 8th, 2014.www.thesanguineroot.com

This is a patch that used to be covered in Japanese honeysuckle and would only bloom a few flowers. Now that the invasive vine has been removed, this population has increased ten-fold in size.

Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 8th, 2014.www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia, April, 8th, 2014.www.thesanguineroot.com

It is very satisfying to see the direct results of the success of this beautiful native spring wildflower from the action we took to remove the invasive exotic vines, in just a few years time! Now there is much more pollen for the species-specific dependent pollinating insects on this early Spring day.

 Bloodroot blooms in area once dominated by Multiflora rose and Japanese Honeysuckle. www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in area once dominated by Multiflora rose and Japanese Honeysuckle. www.thesanguineroot.com

The picture above is special and momentous. This specific flower is also attributed to our efforts. It is growing in a spot that was once nothing but invasive vegetation: The Pennsylvania state listed noxious weed Multiflora-Rose, covered in a thick matte of Japanese Honeysuckle, with a thick shrub layer of the invasive Burning Bush and a tree canopy of Tree-of Heaven, another invasive introduced from China as well as the Norway Maple.  All of these species were removed from the site. A few seeds from a nearby population (300 feet away) of Bloodroot were collected and tossed on the site 5 years ago during the invasive to native transition. It has established itself and now this flowering plant is an herbaceous layer testament to the success of this re-forestation project!

Spicebush Blooms in Morris park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. April 8th, 2014. www.thesanguineroot.com
Spicebush Blooms in Morris park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. April 8th, 2014. www.thesanguineroot.com

This is the site where there is Bloodroot blooming today, which was once dominated by exotic vegetation introduced mostly in the past 150 years.  Now there is an early successional growth of Tulip Poplar and Sassafras, as well as saplings of Oak and Dogwood growing on this site. Mayapple is also beginning to establish itself. Invasives such as Tree-of Heaven , Garlic Mustard, Japanese Angelica Tree, and Japanese Honeysuckle are increasingly less frequent where they were previously quite prevalent. We remove the invasives on a regular basis and allow the native plants to grow.

This site has become less and less maintenance as the years go by.

We have a wait -and -see approach as to how this re-forestation effort will turn out.

Seeing the Bloodroot bloom this year for the first time since tossing those seeds in is a landmark moment for the restoration of this site.

On a philosophical note, our own intervention upon this ecosystem is not lost on us; on one side we just want to see and appreciate this natural beauty as it is in the world, as if we were initially unattached and we were uniting with this beauty and finding within it something that can inform and guide us-(perhaps a myth in our search for finding  philosophical and spiritual direction in nature)-but there is something to this, being that we encounter areas of the world we have never encountered and may never again, ones that may inform us in our worldviews; but here in Morris Park specifically, is a situation where we have willfully intervened in the natural world before us, one just outside the house in the City Park, in what we initially perceived as an overgrown area, one that seemed out of place and disturbed.

From our outreach and researches and discussions and conversations as well as our observations, we made the decision to remove the species of plants aforementioned, with the anticipation that there was a whole new set of species ready to grow there if the conditions were right, and we decided to make that decision and take that risk and we started with a very small area as a test and today, this balmy, sunny Spring day, the Bloodroot blooming on the site, we are seeing more of the results of these decisions.

At once we are disconnected from the feeling of interacting with a ‘raw’ nature that can inform us impartially on a philosophical level and we are now wholly responsible and ‘involved’ with nature on this specific site, so it is no longer wild to us in that regard. Wild without quotes because wild has become something of a societal obsession as we try to find our place in the world among species. We have made the plunge to become completely un-wild by altering a place in the world we have no history with and yet somewhat ‘wild’ by interacting with this place so thoughtfully, with such a sense of speciation and human and plant history in mind.

As humanity grapples with wilderness, at once romanticizing it and destroying it, we choose the fun and enlightening path, which is to romanticize, of course, and that is where the answers can begin to be addressed, and we turn to science for that, again, of course, because all practical and philosophical matters look to science to keep on track. And Science, with its tested and tested again and again and scrutinized again and again is what ultimately informs our philosophy, the testing is like a conscious form of evolution, it guides and informs us, it is wild in that way.

It has been a wild, natural ride, taking the plunge and removing plants from the park, our yards and watching new ones grow, collecting and tossing seeds from time to time, proceeding slowly and cautiously all the while.

The trade off to this work, this decision, is that what we see in this specific area of Morris Park is not a truly ‘wild’ place, one which we have had no prior connection with and one we can appreciate as an outsider viewing the area as a natural place regardless of its history, influenced by humans to varying degrees. Instead what we see is a place that we have intervened with, one of which is no longer wild in this sense. It is an adventure, having made the plunge, these waters we have jumped into where we are so involved with the natural world, we as a species have altered it so much and now we as individuals and communities are compelled to interact with it on much more intensive levels than we feel comfortable with, we debate about wild vs not wild, who are we and what do we do?

 

For now, lets just enjoy the beautiful flowers and enjoy the warm sun on this balmy early Spring afternoon.

 

Bloodroot blooms in area once dominated by Multiflora rose and Japanese Honeysuckle. www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in area once dominated by Multiflora rose and Japanese Honeysuckle. www.thesanguineroot.com

We love to stroll up the path and enjoy the flowers!

Bloodroot blooms in area once dominated by Multiflora rose and Japanese Honeysuckle. www.thesanguineroot.com
Bloodroot blooms in area once dominated by Multiflora rose and Japanese Honeysuckle. www.thesanguineroot.com

While the Bloodroot is a very glamorous early Spring native bloomer, we must also notice the blooming Spicebush!

Spicebush Blooms in Morris park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. April 8th, 2014. www.thesanguineroot.com
Spicebush Blooms in Morris park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. April 8th, 2014. www.thesanguineroot.com

Not to be missed!

Spicebush Blooms in Morris park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. April 8th, 2014. www.thesanguineroot.com
Spicebush Blooms in Morris park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. April 8th, 2014. www.thesanguineroot.com