Duwamish River

River Work: Hammering Willow Stakes, Planting With a View & Flagging.

The kids absolutely loved swinging heavy metal mallets to drive steel stakes into the river mud.  They pounded and pounded to create shaft-holes for the live willow stakes that will grow rapidly to fill in the Duwamish with much-needed shrub cover- if the beavers don't mow them down first.  Fortunately we 'planted' a good batch with the Puget Sound Stewards from EarthCorps, to make up for it.

Also fun was flagging the hillside of natives we planted in the sparkling rain, particularly gorgeous covered in drops was the noxious but furry Verbascum thapsus / mullein, which is very satisfying to pop out and chuck on the compost pile.  Codiga Park was bequeathed as a restoration site by the former owners of a dairy farmstead whom still live adjacent.  We had a wide view of the riverbed from the top of the hill and the kids felt like they owned the park, running along secret back trails, discovering views, a scurrying mouse & bird's nest fungus.  Across the river, we could see a native planting we worked on previously, very satisfying indeed.

Noxious   Verbascum thapsus  / mullein  where it belongs.

Noxious Verbascum thapsus / mullein where it belongs.

Noxious but furry   Verbascum thapsus  / mullein .   

Noxious but furry Verbascum thapsus / mullein.

 

Native  Cornus sericea  / red osier dogwood.

Native Cornus sericea / red osier dogwood.

Terminal 107 on the Duwamish with EarthCorps.

We pulled weeds with EarthCorps in the restoration site along Puget Creek at T-107 Park across from the Duwamish Longhouse, and indeed the park lies on a former native village site.  It was a quiet morning pulling stinky Bob and marveling at the noxious beauty of teasel until the train came chugging up just ten feet away!  Very exciting.  We observed just how carefully one has to grip the crown of noxious stinky Bob / Geranium robertianum.  The stems snap easily and if the crown remains in the soil it happily re-grows.  Afterwards we roamed the enjoyable park, reading about the boat sculpture, native history, spying the woodland pond, visiting the riverfront and deciding to come back with the kids' bikes; the photo below shows the regional trail access as well.

Native   Crataegus Douglasii  / Douglas' hawthorn , not to be confused with the noxious  common hawthorn /  Crataegus monogyna .   They have much different leaves (see below) and unfortunately you almost always encounter the weedy one.

Native Crataegus Douglasii / Douglas' hawthorn, not to be confused with the noxious common hawthorn / Crataegus monogyna.  They have much different leaves (see below) and unfortunately you almost always encounter the weedy one.

The  noxious  common hawthorn /  Crataegus monogyna   showing it's more divided leaves. 

The  noxious common hawthorn / Crataegus monogyna showing it's more divided leaves. 

Stinky Bob must be pinched at the crown to be pulled out effectively, upon which it is easy to pluck.  When just the stems are tugged, they snap and the crown remains, happy to regrow.

Stinky Bob must be pinched at the crown to be pulled out effectively, upon which it is easy to pluck.  When just the stems are tugged, they snap and the crown remains, happy to regrow.

Native   Crataegus Douglasii  / Douglas' hawthorn  has some wicked thorns (as does the noxious sp.)

Native Crataegus Douglasii / Douglas' hawthorn has some wicked thorns (as does the noxious sp.)

Noxius  teasel /  Dipsacus fullonum .   An attractive nuisance.

Noxius teasel / Dipsacus fullonum.  An attractive nuisance.

Noxius  teasel /  Dipsacus fullonum   can be very tall.

Noxius teasel / Dipsacus fullonum can be very tall.

Female flowers and a maturing cone on a Douglas fir /  Pseudotsuga menziesii.   The female flowers will ripen into cones after being wind-pollinated by the little male flowers.

Female flowers and a maturing cone on a Douglas fir / Pseudotsuga menziesii.  The female flowers will ripen into cones after being wind-pollinated by the little male flowers.

Bucket Brigade Sheet Mulching at T-105 on the Duwamish.

Brrrr….!  This was a chilly Squad, the kids were one-upping each other on the most layers worn.  It was impressive to see ice all the way up the restored slough-channel, in which the tide was quite high so we hiked around it, rather than crossing it to the restoration site.  We began with a short explanation of a watershed, in this case the Green-Duwamish Watershed.  (See your King County watershed here)  I wasn't so sure the kinds would find the coordinated discipline involved in a bucket-brigade enjoyable, but they had a blast!  Great idea Dhira.  Much mulch was dumped onto the cardboard we spread out for weed control.  A great time with EarthCops on the Duwamish River in the heart of Seattle. 

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Fur ID…..?

Fur ID…..?

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mossy rose gall (click pic for link)

mossy rose gall (click pic for link)

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Squad on the Duwamish River. Steamy mulch.

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We have worked many a task at Stewardship Squad, from wielding the weed wrench, to hauling stones and of course weeding, planting and mulching.  This time however, was our first for sheet-mulching on a large-scale.  The native plants contend with hedge bindweed (Convolvulus sepium) and poison-hemlock (Conium maculata) at the riverside restoration site- the cardboard layer underneath the woodchips helps smother existing rhizomes, plants and seeds.  This restoration project was begun by an interested employee at the adjacent BECU headquarters, who's employer supported the efforts and they grew!  Other partners and the City of Tukwila are involved now.  May we all be as inspired to better our surroundings.  The Homeschool Stewardship Squad was happy to help.  And glad for the steamy mulch piles on a chilly day.

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