Blue By You by Fred Wooley

cut showing yellow pith

When cutting and herbiciding the stems to control invasive non-native plants, the technique involves dabbing the cut stem or stump with an herbicide to prevent future growth. To help keep track of what stems are treated, a blue dye is mixed with the herbicide. Possibly you will notice the residual of such if you visit a Blue Heron Ministries worksite. It does fade, though, with age.

It came to me at a project at the The Nature Center Conservancy’s Fawn River Fen, that not all remain blue. One characteristic that aids in the identification of the invasive Japanese Barberry, is the pith of bright yellow when cut. It’s unmistakable. Add the deep blue to that stem and you get… (think back to elementary school and mixing primary colors).. green!

blue to green

The cutting and treating of stems can get sort of mindless when doing so hour after hour. We look for breaks and take in the true beauty of what’s around us while working. Sometimes it can also be something subtle… like the mixing of colors in our work.

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