Word had been sent ’round that some of the cape ivy occurrences in California were starting to show signs of an orange fungus, a white mildew, and leaf miners, with a request that restoration workers in the field keep an eye out for them, so Karen headed up the hill and I trundled along beside her. And here is what there was to be seen:
In other words, more than one critter is starting to eat these guys! Which might seem no big thing, were it not for the fact that one of the several unfair advantages that exotic invasives have is that they very often arrive here completely unconstrained by the natural enemies that they had back home. So it is always exciting when things start to chew on them, grow on them, and thereby cause them to have a bit less energy for being hegemonic.
While clambering about the steep north-facing slope here, peering at cape ivy leaves up above while Karen peered at them further down the hill, I noticed a patch of bay trees that seem to have a particularly high proportion of dead leaves on them. All trees, including bays, have some dead leaves on them all the time, of course; but this is way beyond that, with brown leaves in percentages of 25 to 50% or more on numerous trees. I am not that familiar with the norm in these damp westside canyons yet, as I am spending most of my field days over in Redwood, so perhaps that is the way it always is here; but anyway, it seemed noteworthy enough that we took some photos and video, and here they are. Video is first and is approximately a minute long, and it gives a good sense of the general lie of this steep north-facing slope and of the stand of trees in question.
The following photos are much more fine-grained than the video images, but for some reason show less of the coloration of the leaves in the foggy light than the video does. But there are a few close-ups of individual leaves that may prove helpful.