Last week we started our plant monitoring season at Oak Openings. This year we are going to concentrate on areas that were most affected by the 2010 tornado. The photo above shows one such area. Many of the fallen trees were removed and the area was burned. Fire suppression in the past had resulted in a heavily forested landscape. This land should now return to being an Oak Savannah.
Although Wild lupine is potentially threatened in the state, it is abundant in the Metroparks, so we don't usually include it in our monitoring. However, because it is an indicator of a healthy Oak Savannah, we will track it's numbers in these areas. It was certainly easy to spot, growing up from the ashes.
Another abundant plant in this area are blueberries. One of the benefits of monitoring in summer is eating these berries!