March 15, 2021 at 5:07 pm #665Amelia AdairParticipant
Four small test plots around the Stables were seeded by volunteers with a custom mix of native grasses and other low-growing native flowers and plants, specifically, the “Santa Fe Pinon Juniper Meadow Mix, Lot #23427, from Western Native Seed company, http://www.westernnativeseed.com/PJwildflowermix.html
Volunteers will maintain the plots by hand pulling non-native invasive species and not grazing them the first year to allow them to establish.March 16, 2021 at 11:29 pm #668
Spring hand grazing season is beginning at the Stables. Mostly you and your equine will find lush green patches of cool season annual grasses–cheat grass and foxtail grass–which are invasive species. These annual grasses consume ground moisture–to the wilting point–crowding out desireable native and introduced perennial grasses. However, these lush green grasses provide a rewarding, nutritional experience for our equines. So encourage your equine to graze.
However, if you have an equine who is sensitive to higher levels of sugars, graze with caution while our nights are cool and days sunny. NSC are lowest in early morning, the safest time of day to graze.
When these annual grasses mature, their seed heads become sharply barbed, embedding themselves in clothing, fur, and tender membranes. If eaten, their seed heads can create sores in lips and gums. So as the growing season warms, while your equine grazes, feel free to pull up their annual grass leftovers! As you target your efforts, preserve the desirable grasses, leaving them with at least a 3″ stubble height.
These targeted efforts–along with ECIA Maintenance mowing and weed whacking–will reduce the seed bank in the soil. Then this fall, weeded areas should be reseeded, using the Santa Fe Pinon Juniper Meadow Mix. These dryland natives can grow and thrive, creating more diverse habitat and low sugar grazing.April 5, 2021 at 10:33 pm #673KellybsmithParticipant
Great info! ThanksApril 17, 2021 at 7:52 pm #678
“Weed on the Month: Cheat Grass” ECIA Conservation Committee has begun a series of feature articles on invasive weeds in Eldorado, in the Vistas Newsletters. The March 2021 issue introduced the series; the April 2021 issue features annual bromes, collectively knows as cheat grass. Find out more about this weed of the West, why it is a threat, and how to manage it at https://eldorado.org.May 7, 2021 at 9:03 pm #691
ECIA Conservation Committee is on a roll, publishing : “Reduce Tumbleweeds–Russian Thistle and Kochia,” in the May 2021 Vistas Newsletter. Checkout their info, including photographs, on what these plants do and how to manage them. For a digital copy, go to https://eldorado.org then look under the “News and Events” tab.May 8, 2021 at 5:01 pm #692
Wine and Weeds Walk is here, on Saturday, May 15th, at 5:30 p.m. Join us for a spring evening walk around the Stables and a tour of our resident weeds! We will be gathering at Amelia Adair’s horse trailer to begin with wine and appetizers. Botanist and Stable member Susan Twiet will introduce us to the wild life of weeds and the importance of learning to manage them for the benefit of our equines and our local ecosystem. Horses are welcome to come and graze along with us. Current equine and COVID-19 safe practices required.June 1, 2021 at 8:41 pm #693
At our first Wine and Weed Walk, Susan Tweit enchanted us with her environmental restoration stories. Susan urged us to support the beneficial dryland plants found at the Stable. She explained how to manage invasive weeds that don’t play well with the local flora and fauna, through handgrazing equines on weeds, plus handpulling when appropriate. These techniques, in conjunction with ECIA maintenance efforts, can deplete weed seeds in the soil. Weeded areas should then be reseeded with native plants, to create a more resilient greenspace during extended drought. Try this: experience deeper interspecies bonds while hand-grazing your equine. Plus your equines enjoy eating weeds.June 1, 2021 at 8:50 pm #694
World Environment Day is on June 5, 2021. The United Nations has established this day to launch its effort: UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, 2021-2030. For more information, go to https://www.worldenvironmentday.global.June 1, 2021 at 8:59 pm #695
Vistas, June 2021, has just published A Person’s Name for a Weed–Jim Hill Mustard, the next article in the series authored by the ECIA Conservation Committee. Check it out at https://eldorado.org, under the “News and Events” tab, then look for this weed where ever you walk. Pull some too!June 23, 2021 at 5:23 pm #702
A tremendous THANK YOU! to members of the Stable who are hand grazing their horses on weeds, plus occassionally pulling or digging some. Not only are our horses enjoying this vegetative treat, the presence and growth of weeds have been much reduced this May and June. So ECIA Maintenance Staff has not had to mow or weed whack at all, during this intensive weed management period. KUDOS to YOU ALL!
Even during this typical hot, dry June, fresh green growing weeds remain in several areas, oftentimes sustained by runoff from our scattered showers. Help out your neighbors and lead your horse to the weeds: graze on….June 23, 2021 at 6:09 pm #703
Our second Wine and Weeds Walk on Saturday, June 19th, featured horses and humans seeking food and food for thought, lead by guest speaker Philippe Cohen. Philippe enchanted us with his stories of biological research stations. The basic research of scientists and students at stations, have had practical applications from statistics to ecological restoration. Rachel Carson did much of her research though biological research station archives, eventually publishing her evidence and argument as Silent Spring.
We also learned that the Colorado Plateau, the source for the Rio Grande River and the Colorado River, is highly impacted by climate change, nearly as much as the Arctic and Antarctic. It’s hotter and drier on the Plateau.
Rocky Mountain aspens have endured drought for centuries, but this current drought is hotter. Aspens, as they transpire in too hot, dry conditions, develop embolisms in their phloem, which damages or kills the trees. Where too hot, dry conditions persist, aspen clonal colonies could disappear within 50 years.
With our local climate changing so rapidly, Philippe recommends that restoration efforts emphasize supporting the amalgam of native and introduced plants that work well together to sustain the important functions of ecosystems.
The fragile cryptogramic soil crusts–primarily composed of lichens, algae, and bacteria– living here play an important role in soil stabilization and making nutrients available to their neighboring rooted plants. So when hiking or riding off trail, Please Don’t Crush the Crusts! Walk on plants and rocks.
You can visit these research stations in NM and worldwide. The people working there are fabulously welcoming and informed about their locale.
Many thanks to our member Alice Griffin, for introducing Philippe to us.June 23, 2021 at 6:14 pm #704
Please join us for our third Wine and Weeds Walk on Saturday, July 17 at 5:30.
Watch for refreshment diverification: We have received suggestions of tequila, coffee and donuts, craft beers and margaritas….July 24, 2021 at 9:17 pm #762
“Weed of This Month: Common Mullein” is the July article, in the Vistas series sponsored by the Conservation Committee. This article and photographs by Carol Beidleman. Check it out at https:eldorado.org, under the “News and Events” tab.July 24, 2021 at 9:48 pm #763
The monsoon rains have arrived! Frequent showers and storms have transformed our local environment from dry and surviving, to a symphony of lush greens. Our horses delight in their gastronomic choices among native grasses and forbs and the introduced species.July 24, 2021 at 10:57 pm #764
The third Wine and Weeds Walk on Saturday, July 19, featured a vast greeness growing about the Stable grounds and guest speaker Thomas Bredenberg, a member of the ECIA Conservation Committee and a gardener who enriches his home garden with manure from the Stable.
Thom embraced the different greenspace needs at Eldorado. At the Stable Amenity, the greenspace supports a wide variety of native and introduced species that have self-selected to those that survive soil disturbance and competition, along with grazing.
During the walk, Thom identified native and introduced plants at the Stable. The monsoons have encouraged the native plants to flourish, as well as an abundance of introduced plants. Newly sprouted introduced plants, in vast quantities, are purslane, amaranth, and lambsquarters–along with the common troublesome ones–kochia, Russian thistle, and puncture vine. His preferred management methods are hand pulling–especially when the weeds are small–along with grazing and mowing. The Conservation Committee also uses a vinegar based herbicide.
Thom also previewed for us, the next weed article for Vistas; plus shared his favorite pocket reference, Troublesome Weeds of New Mexico (available through NM State Extension Service); and shared a weed article specifically for equestrians, Locoweed Poisoning of Horses, Guide B-713 from NM State University.
Thank you, Carol Beidleman, Conservation Committee, and Amelia Adair, Eldorado Stable Committee, for introducing Thomas Bredenberg to us.
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