ID Lab #1: Leersia virginica and Microstegium vimineum

Photo: A solitary Leersia virginica caryopsis. Note: Clicking on any photos in this blog post will take you to the flickr page on which they are hosted. I’m often asked in the field, “How did you know what that was?” Since almost all of my (admittedly meager) botanical knowledge I’ve picked up on my own by some combination of observation, reading, and listening to those more knowledgable than myself, I often find myself unable to give a satisfying response to this simple question. Sometimes, it’s a number of small traits that, together, lead to a correct ID. For other species, noticing a single unique anatomical quirk might be all it takes. With that in mind, I welcome you to my first ID Lab

Japanese Stiltgrass

Photo: A Japanese stiltgrass investation at the Marie Butler Leven Preserve. This post is the first of our Invasive Plant Profiles. Once a month or so, we’ll feature an invasive species that we are actively working to remove from our local parks. It might, though hopefully isn’t, one that you have in your backyard! We hope that you’ll find this series informative and fun. Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) As you’ve undoubtedly seen in our newsletter, The Acorn, we’ve been hard at work all year removing a variety of invasive alien plants from the Marie Butler Leven Preserve, located in McLean, VA. This summer, we’ve dedicated many volunteer and staff hours to removing Japanese stilt

Welcome!

Photo: A patch of our meadow restoration site, in September 2015, at the Marie Butler Leven Preserve, in Fairfax County, Virginia. Hello Friends and welcome to the Earth Sangha’s blog, Life in the Field. We launched the blog in October 2015. Life in the Field speaks to the way of life embodied in our name. If you’re already a member or volunteer, you may know that Sangha is a Buddhist term meaning “community.” Usually it refers to the community of practitioners. But within the Earth Sangha, we use the term more broadly, to mean all of our members, all of the living things with whom we work, all of the natural and human communities in which we are involved. Life in the Field is intended to gi

Los Cerezos by the Numbers

​Photo: Commerce in the campo! The interior of a country store in Los Cerezos. The Tree Bank’s first “Information Harvest” has finally come in! Last March, for the first time, we surveyed all of the farmers in the Tree Bank Hispaniola program, to gather uniform data on their households and farms. We have now organized their responses, and I attempt an interpretive summary below. The Tree Bank Hispaniola works along part of the Dominican Republic / Haiti border, on the Dominican side, to conserve native forest and improve the incomes of the region’s small-holder farmers. For a description of the program, visit the Tree Bank page. Why We Did This Survey The Tree Bank was founded in 2006. As th

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Banner: Late October in a mixed stand of hickories, oaks, and American beech at Fountainhead Regional Park, on the northern shore of the Occoquan River, in Fairfax County, Virginia. Photo by Chris Bright. 

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