We had the following e-mail from Rachel Farrel and thought it should be shared since this affects habitats of our native plants.

The Federal Railroad Association released its plan to straighten the railroad tracks through CT and RI just over a week ago. This is would be a high-speed by-pass through Westerly, Hopkinton, Charlestown, South Kingstown and Richmond. The proposed new track would cut directly through the field where Grasshopper Sparrows nest at the Francis Carter Preserve. This is the only spot where this species nests on the mainland in RI. The proposed new track would also cut through the Great Swamp, TNC's Grills Preserve, the northern part of Burlingame MA, the Amos Green Farm, and certain neighborhoods. Homes would be destroyed. Wetlands would be filled in Burlingame and the Great Swamp Management Areas. Blasting and trenching would be needed to get through hills and keep the train at a steady elevation. Connecticut’s opposition might not kill the planned changes in Rhode Island. Opposition has been quick, but there is much to be done. There is an on-line petition from Move-On.org which anyone can sign. More signatures are needed.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-necfutures-and-the.fb51?source=s.fb&r_by=17368115

Additionally, Jack Reed, who supports this plan, should be contacted. https://www.reed.senate.gov/ contact/email https://www.reed.senate.gov/ contact

Links to read more about this issue:

http://www.ecori.org/transportation/2016/12/20/everyone-not-on-board-with- proposal-to-straighten-rails

http://charlestowncitizens. org/2016/12/18/christmas-surprise-from-fra/

http://charlestowncitizens. org/federal-railroad-administration-plan/

http://www.nature.org/ ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/ rhodeisland/newsroom/statement-of-the-nature- conservancy-in-rhode-island- northeast-corridor-expan.xml

What plant is that?

Click on photo below
to view larger image.

February 2017 Mystery Plant --flowers

February 2017 Mystery plant --flower stalks

February 2017 Mystery Plant
Top and center photos:
© David G. Smith via www.delawarewildfowers.org

Bottom photo: © Francis R. Underwood 2017

February’s mystery plant is a
perennial with glaucous
and arching stems, alternate,
serrated leaves and flowers
which are borne in the leaf axils.
The flowers have 1-3 short yellow rays
and 5-8 disk flowers.
The plant grows to a height of
1 to 2 or 3 feet tall.
  Any basal leaves generally disappear
before flowering time
while the stem leaves remain
through the flowering period.

This plant grows in open woods
and flowers from late
August to the end of October.

Stop back next month to find out
what this mystery plant is.

Click here
for last month's mystery plant.

Mystery Plants from
past months, click, here

E-mail your guess to us and,
if you're right, we'll list
your name below.

Congratulations to the following
for correctly identifying
last month's mystery plant.

Nancy Clayton
Russ Cohen
Elizabeth E. Dickson
Viola Gay
Kimberly Kelly
Brian Maynard
Anne Wagner
Dennis Webster