Yikes! The Wet Meadow was Mowed

by Barbara Walvoord

Aw, shucks. We thought we had an agreement that our wet meadows would not be mowed until late October or early November, so that all the riches of seeds and cover would be available to our voles, snakes, turtles, birds, bobcats, hawks, insects, and others when they need it most.

But while Mike Strycharz was away, and without his knowledge, someone came in and mowed the meadow behind Cranberry/Spiceberry/Teaberry. We were dismayed, to say the least.

wet meadow 7 6 14 011

Wet meadow before mowing, July 14, 1014. Photo by Barbara Walvoord

We believe that the Ravenwold farmer who has mowed that field in the past simply followed his last year’s schedule without asking us and without referencing the talk that Thom had with him last year about his use of our land. He probably thought he was doing us a favor. Clearly, we didn’t communicate well about what we wanted. We’ll talk with him and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

What about the purple loosestrife? We feel really bad that everyone’s efforts to go in there and cut off the loosestrife blooms one by one and take them off the land now seem to have been pre-empted by the mowing of all the loosestrife and everything else. The good news is that all those loosestrife blooms are off the plants. The bad news is that many of them already had seeds on them, so the seeds will be spread anyway, and the mower will have spread them as well.

So, a setback, but we’ll get this fixed, and next year, we’ll have this mowing schedule on target.  We also hope to have a way to control the loosestrife.

Our thanks to all those at Lathrop who have worked on our beautiful wet meadow, watched it grow, loved it, and want to nourish it.

Next year at this time, the meadow will have grown back with its grasses and flowers, its butterflies and bees, and we’ll have the mowing issue fixed. All of us on the Land Conservation Subcommittee and the Lathrop management will be working to protect and nurture our wonderful Lathrop land.


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