Now, we have some new allies: sheep. During the past few weeks, a flock of 20 rented sheep has been voraciously eating the ivy, privet and other nonnatives. In short order, they have cleared our woods of the invasive species. Our woods look like a healthy forest again.
“One of the main reasons I got the sheep — I want to see the trout lilies (return),” said neighbor Becky England.
Another neighbor, Daniel Ballard, a landscape ecologist who owns Convivial Landscapes, was elated to find a native alternate-leaf dogwood tree in the cleared-out woods. “It’ll be happy there now without competition from invasives,” he said.
John Wierwille, who rents the sheep to landowners, told me: “After the sheep leave a site, the soils are not disturbed and there are no chemical residues to harm insects or birds or salamanders; the invasive greens are gone, so it’s easy to put back native plants.” For more information, go to Ewe Can Do It Naturally’s Facebook page.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon, now in last quarter, will be new on Saturday (March 13). Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn appear in the east before sunrise. Mars is in the southwest at dusk and sets in the west a few hours later.
Charles Seabrook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.