Things are heating up at Duck Creek, and it isn’t just the temperatures.
In a cloud of dust the contractors are back on site and working on their punch list. This week they have been setting water control structures into place and doing finishing work along the levees. They are also installing the pipe that will distribute water from one of our new wells. After a few more items are checked off of the to-do list, then the electric company will come in and run their lines so that we’ll have power to run the pumps.
As we mentioned in a previous post, the plant response in Unit A has been a mixed bag this year. Likewise, our management approach has been diverse. In certain sections we haven’t done anything and let the smartweed and millet grow to produce seed. In other areas we have disked the undesirable cocklebur and false aster down to set back succession. We have also planted corn food plots in some of the areas that we have disked to provide a source of food for the fall. Still, in other portions of the area we are using herbicide to beat back the aggressive Bermuda grass. This summer we’ll continue to monitor our plant communities and try to promote an adequate food base for this fall’s waterfowl season.
Through the renovation work we’ve restored some of the topographic diversity by re-cutting old sloughs and depressions into the landscape that used to be quite common in this part of the world. We did this by using large mechanical pans instead of by the power of water, which is how these features would have formed naturally. To help kick-start the biological process in these recreated channels, we are helping nature out by seeding the banks. Along the edges of the sloughs that are still holding water we are planting aquatic species like blue flag iris, pickerel weed and mud plantain. In the middle of these sloughs, submergent plants like water star grass, water celery and largeleaf pondweed are being planted. As these pockets of plants become established they will expand and to the diversity of the area. It won’t happen overnight, but it will definitely help the area recover faster in the long run.
As you can see, just in this short post, the number of activities at Duck Creek is increasing almost as fast as the mercury in the thermometer. Enjoy the heat and stay safe this Memorial Day weekend. Thanks again for your interest in Duck Creek.