Restorations of natural areas provides many rewards.
Invasive species, such as winter creeper, Euonymus fortunei, and various species of exotic honeysuckle Lonicera sp. take their toll on the health and natural diversity of a landscape by crowding out native species: species that have complex ecological relationships that evolved over eons. But thanks to the hard work of folks from our Natural Areas Department here at Bernheim, the Bent Twig Trail is beginning to show signs of restoration. Not only will you find fewer invasive species, but also an abundance of spring wildflowers. I’ve hiked this trail hundreds of times in the past 16 years, since coming to work here, and have never seen as many species of spring wildflowers. Here are just a few of my favorites taken on my recent walks.
The colony of yellow trout lilies, Erythrorium americanum, growing near one of the small bridges has finally matured. It usually takes seven years, are now gracing this trail and the trout-like spotted leaves are appearing in places I’ve not seen before. The patches of bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis growing on the sunny side of the trail facing the old deer pen area, were stunning and much more abundant this year. Thank you, Natural Areas staff and volunteers for helping the Bent Twig Trail to blossom! Check out some of the other beauties you’ll find on the Bent Twig Trail. The sooner you hike the more you’ll see!
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