What a perfect morning for a broom pull! After the long, lovely Indian summer of October, and the dramatic Diablo winds that filled the air with dancing leaves earlier this week, on Thursday the rain finally returned to wash all the world clean and soften the adobe-hard ground. With a good turnout and cool grey skies, the young broom plants recolonizing this stretch of East Ridge Trail (away down south near the EBMUD gate, almost to the Canyon Trail junction) were delightfully easy to pull by hand or with a quick maneuver of the weed wrench.
As this next photo illustrates particularly well, the broom here is young and vigorous and clearly derives from seeds that remained in the soil after the original big broom plants were pulled. Each mature broom plant produces up to 10,000 seeds/year and these seeds can remain viable in the soil for decades. So, although removing the big old-growth French broom has a delightful and dramatic immediate benefit in restoring views and allowing native plants to return and flourish, it is vital to return a couple of years later and pull the young broom seedlings before they start to flower and begin the whole colonizing process anew.
And of course, key to the success of any volunteer workday, especially those involving vigorous exercise out in the open air, is . . . breaktime, snacks, and coffee!!
(this post in progress as of 2011_11_06 Sunday :-)