Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good Intentions

Oh, Jeff. That crazy wonderful husband of mine. I love his enthusiasm.

He was out trail running yesterday morning on one of his favorite trails on Mill Mountain when he came across something he thought was special. 

Oh, it's special alright.

So special that he pricked off a piece to bring home for me to identify, dutifully carrying it with him the remaining miles of his run.

"The birds are gonna love this! What is it?"

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, it's not a good thing, in fact it's one of the worst non-native invasives we have around here. It's Asian Bush Honeysuckle. We only ripped out about a hundred or so over at Dean this spring. But since they were in bloom then, and now they have berries on them, he didn't recognize it. Now he'll never forget.  It can be tricky to identify since it looks similar to some native Honeysuckles when in flower. However, the give-away is if you break off a stem or branch of Asian Bush Honeysuckle you will notice it has a hollow center. The natives do not not.

You can read more about Asian Bush Honeysuckle here and here.

The offender
 He felt so embarrassed, he volunteered to go stand in the corner as punishment, bowing his head in shame...

It's OK, you can come out of the corner now

Two years ago I was running on the same trail as Jeff when I came across the same plant. I thought it looked great, loaded with berries, just waiting for a flock of Cedar Waxwings. I tried so hard to identify it and never could, it made no sense. The problem was my ID books contained only native shrubs and trees and I didn't know the difference. I had no idea we could have non-natives growing "wild" in our woods. The only problem plant I knew about was Kudzu. Now, having learned about non-native invasives, I realize why I couldn't find that, and many other plants in my ID books.

Oh, how far we've come!


  1. I didn't volunteer to stand in the corner, you made me! Said I needed to learn a lesson and a public shaming was in order. Lesson learned. I just hope Ellen doesn't see this.

  2. I'm laughing so hard that I can hardly type!

  3. Well, I wasn't laughing about the fact that you got fooled by bush honeysuckle - it has happened to all of us at some point! But the picture was very funny.

  4. That's because it wasn't YOU in the corner! 'Jes dumb as a bag of native sticks(me that is).

  5. It's amazing what takes us down the path of needing to learn more, isn't it? Thanks for the heads up on this invader! (And Jeff, I'm sorry life is so harsh...) :)

  6. "Nobody puts baby in the corner".