Big Victories, Little Blooms

If you’ve been participating in the Garlic Mustard Challenge, you’re probably familiar with that distinctively satisfying feeling that comes from removing invasive plants from a plot of land. There’s nothing quite like stepping back, brushing the dirt from your hands and seeing the visible progress you’ve made! Maybe there is a similarity with the feelings evoked by defeating angry birds in a video game, or finishing off the army of dishes that has invaded your kitchen sink… But really, these are flimsy comparisons to the battle you’ve waged with garlic mustard! Even if there’s a long way to go before the area is garlic mustard free , when you are “in the field” and seeing progress, you aren’t just seeing the ways in which you’re helping a struggling ecosystem. You are seeing the results of the optimistic spirit it takes to envision a better future for the land. This is a victory in itself!

Looking even more closely, you might even see a few wildflowers, yet another incredibly satisfying experience in the field. Wildflowers are some of the most beautiful visible markers of this habitat’s natural diversity. Garlic mustard threatens the balance of our ecosystems by crowding out native plants that provide food and habitats for insects and animals. Wildflowers bring hope for land on its way to being healthy. Here are some of the wildflowers of Michigan that you might be able to see in June!

Trillium

 Jack in the Pulpit

May Apple

 

Meadow Saxifrage

Solomon’s Seal

Polygonatum odoratum

Wild Violet

 

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