With the clearing of much of the central valley in preparation for the dam and lake, a good deal more sunlight has been reaching the forest floor here than has for decades. Now L and I are seeing flowering plants that we hadn’t seen in our past stomps through the trees.
We found this beauty on the north slope (south facing) in a mostly dry and rocky site. It is a variety of mimosa, though I haven’t yet nailed down which one it is. This vine was hugging the ground, though it seemed as though it could be a vigorous climber in better soil.
Among the tasks we set ourselves was planting dogwoods and redbuds along the future shoreline so that we would have color reflected on the water. All of the 25 dogwood we planted died (I don’t think the soil is suitable), but many of the redbud we put in have survived. What we have found, though, is that there already is plenty of redbud growing in the forest. The extra sunlight seems to have brought it into its growing stage. In fact, it appears in a few places that we had to push aside native redbud saplings in order to plant the ones we had brought ourselves.
We’ve been ordering trees (well, twigs) from the Missouri Department of Conservation for years. The price is certainly right. Even with shipping costs factored in, we’re paying about 25 cents per tree (twig). So far we’ve planted hawthorn, pecan, dogwood, redbud, short-leaf pine, and sumac. Different trees are in different settings, but I guess our average is about 50 percent success. Not bad for the price and the fact that we aren’t around constantly to water and tend them. The deer eat some of them as well. They seem to love the few maples I have tried starting at Roundrock. I’ll keep trying though!