Tuesday, August 7, 2012

FYI: UM DPS training with the FBI this Friday, August 10

The University of Michigan's Department of Public Safety (aka University Police) will be conducting a training seminar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the Stinchfield Woods property this coming Friday, August 10. They will be running search and rescue type scenarios within the woods and realistic situational training. They WILL NOT be using firearms or doing any target shooting so there is NO DANGER to the public. All the officers will be wearing there usual uniforms and carrying their usual equipment for the purpose of authenticity. The Department has been using the Stinchfield Woods property for this type of training for years without any problems. The property will remain open to the public and all the usual rules apply. PLEASE be sure to keep your dogs leashed. If anyone has any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to let me know. You can call the caretaker's home at 734-426-4742. Thank you for the cooperation.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Careful of this thorny rose bush!

This is multiflora rose. It is a shrub native to Eastern Asia and was brought over to be used as "natural" fence lines, wildlife habitat, and ornamental hedges. In fact, the University planted multiflora rose bushes in Stinchfield Woods after they acquired the property in 1925 in an effort to create a maintenance-free fence along the property lines while providing a source of food and cover for birds to encourage on-site populations.

Now, generally considered an invasive species, you can find multiflora rose growing along many of the walking paths throughout Stinchfield. Like most invasives, it thrives in disturbed areas and tends to grow towards openings in order to have as much sun exposure as possible. This is why you'll often see this prickly shrub stretching into walkways so be careful not to walk through its branches; its thorns can give you a very painful scratch. I've been doing my best to cut the invading stems back from the trails and out of the way of passersby.

You can identify multiflora rose by the light, yellow-green color of its stems and leaves, its alternating compound leaflets, the feathery stipules at the base of each leaflet, and its recurving thorns (as seen in the third photo above). In the spring, they will grow clusters of five-petaled white flowers with many yellow stamens.