Squad had a large group and perfect weather to celebrate the final weeks of summer at Discovery Park with Forest Steward, Matt and his experienced daughter (off school for the teacher-strike). He initiated the blackberry-removal & native planting project on his own volition quite a number of years ago and is now supported in part by the Green Seattle Partnership. We split up into teams to scoop/haul wood chips, dig blackberry and build a stick base to pile the brambles on to ensure they wouldn't reach the ground and re-root.
We had a great mix of new and experienced folks working together to tackle the big jobs, the teamwork amongst the kids was fun to see. One intrepid young volunteer spent 45 minutes between the pines to dig a monster blackberry root mass. Seasoned stewards know that it is imperative to get the crown out or the canes will just grow back. They can be irregularly-shapen but you get a feel for it after awhile.
The little fledgling roses hosted a number of mossy rose galls caused by the rose gall wasp. Eggs are laid on the rose, when the larvae hatch and start to feed, their chewing chemically-induces the rose to produce further tissue which builds up into the shape of the gall, in which they overwinter. Very fascinating. Our native roses also host the spiny gall wasp.
After working hard, we hiked down to the swimming beach at the lighthouse to enjoy the sand, surf and sun. We passed a dead seal, gathered seaweed & enjoyed Mt. Rainier above the sparkling water.