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stinky bob and lemon something

Nancy and I spent a mid-July Saturday volunteering with a Nature Conservancy work party to remove invasive plants from a preserve in a forest in the Sandy River gorge east of Portland. I wasn’t paying attention enough :-) when the group leader told us about the two invasive species we were going to pull, so all I heard was “Stinky Bob” and “Lemon-something”. Eventually I figured out from others that the first was actually called Stinky Bob, but is more correctly called “Herb Robert”, and the second was “Lemon Balm”.

Ironically, what helps bring in these two invasive plants are seeds carried from in town by hikers! So now I understand why the New Zealand border control agents are very careful about checking camping and hiking gear that people bring into the country.

It was a warm day, but actually very pleasant in the deeply-shaded forest, and at lunchtime we all made a short hike to a hidden waterfall. By the end of the day, the group had cleared out the Stinky Bob and Lemon Something from about 300 yards of the trail.

We had enough fun that we volunteered for another Nature Conservancy work party a few weeks later, this time at the Yamhill Oaks preserve south of Portland near McMinnville. This time we were helping remove old barbed wire fence from back when this new preserve was a tree farm. It was sunny and hot, but fortunately there was a stream running between the work and lunch areas to cool off our feet :-). We ended up collecting roughly 1000 yards of barbed wire — nobody tell Jeff, or he’ll want to put me to work next time I’m home on the farm! —  so later work parties can come in an reseed native plants to re-establish the original oak meadows habitat.

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