Feb. 20, 2017

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The Ives gravel pit was very barren when acquired by the Conservancy.  It has been fascinating to watch the plant kingdom reclaim lost territory.  That process is called natural succession.  It begins with plants best adapted to exposed, nutrient deprived ground.  It most often ends with mature diverse forest after soil has built up.  Fireweed earns that name by being one of the first arrivals.  It is often seen after fires, or as in this case, after earth movers.  The damper areas of the pit are no longer in the first stage, but fireweed still lingers.  These slightly strange flowers are pollinated mostly by wasps.