There is an empty place in the hearts of many today. I just learned the terribly sad news that Dr. Les Mehrhoff passed away last night. I worked with Les from many years on the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group and his good humor, integrity and vast knowledge of plants and their geographic distribution were essential to the success of that initially awkward alliance of green industry and conservation interests.
Les and his colleague John Silander were the driving force behind the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, an extraordinary resource that is informing management and control efforts across the region. I once hosted them at Windrock, to offer them examples of naturalized populations of Glaucium flavum or Hornet Poppy.
Mostly, though, I worked with Les, and helped The Nature Conservancy reconnect with him after a long and regretable silence. He was a wonderful human being, and I was proud to count him as a friend and colleague.
Today answering machine still has his characteristic disclaimer that "I'f I'm not here, I'm probably somewhere" and I hope you are, my friend. Somewhere where weeds and rarities lie down together and Asa Gray answers all of your questions.