Unexpected Lessons

Our last outing on Sunday, we saw a little ecological experiment the area naturalist had put up – it was a deer exclosure about 4’X5’X5′ to show how much the over-deering of the area was damaging the local vegetation.  Turns out it was a great display, although I doubt many people actually look at it much.  Everywhere around it as far as you could see was clear, open scrubby woodland with scattered bluberry/huckleberry bushes and odd plant debris.  The exclosure, though, was packed with a moderately dense growth of vegetation – it was quite striking!  It was only when I got closer that I realized that about 2/3 or more of that lush growth was made up of Poison Ivy and Bittersweet.  “Go, Deer!”  is my response.  Maybe after a few years it will be a better display, presuming that more desirable plants start to recover within its protection.

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