This was a good butterfly week. I found two new butterflies for the farm (and for Buffalo County), and two new butterflies for Pierce County when I was seed collecting.
A few weeks ago I saw an interesting moth in our neighborhood in Saint Paul. It was fluttering around during the day – at about 10 a.m. – and came to rest on the brick wall of a local coffee house.
It stayed there for several hours – plenty of time for me to go home and get my camera. Continue reading
This was the weekend of our big party, which was a great success in spite of the hot weather. People went on walks at the beginning and the end of the day – it was much too hot in the middle. By the afternoon it was brilliantly sunny and about 90 degrees so mostly people sat on the porch or in the air conditioning and talked and ate the great food that everyone brought. It was fun. Continue reading
I finally decided that Buffalo Ridge Prairie had to be mowed this week – when I went up to look at it the Canadian Horseweed (Conyza canadensis) had completely taken over. It’s an annual, and I was afraid all those seeds would really cause problems next year, and that their thick stalks would shade out the prairie plants. It was sad to mow all the flowering prairie plants. Continue reading
This week was hot! So hot that we couldn’t go outside much. We took walks and I did a little work in the early morning and the evening, but most of the time we stayed where it was cool.
The only outside work I did was to weed Wild Parsnip in the wetland again. I’m trying to keep one area completely free of Parsnip. It’s a nice place to be – lots of wetland flowers are blooming, and the butterflies like this hot weather.
Here are two views of the area where we sprayed Reed Canary Grass and then replanted in 2004.
This is the restored area looking south-west.
And this is looking north-west to Pine Point Prairie.
The dominant flower right now is Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata), but there are lots of other flowers starting to bloom. Here’s a closeup of the Blue Vervain.
And here are some of the other less common ones.
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) closeup
Swamp Milkweed with Monarchs
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Joe-pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum)
Great Blue Lobelia(Lobelia siphilitica)
3 Finger Valley is all yellow with blooming Oxeye (Heliopsis helianthoides) and Giant St. John’s Wort (Hypericum pyramidatum). This area has both, but most of it is Giant St. John’s Wort.
The northern end has more Monarda (Monarda fistulosa) – here’s a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris sp.) nectaring on some Monarda.
Here’s a view of the prairie on and around our septic field. A lot of the flowers are weeds, but there are more prairie plants this year, and it does look pretty.
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This was a good work week. I weeded Curly Dock in Buffalo Ridge Prairie, and Mike mowed Western Prairie/Field for the second time. It wasn’t too hot to work except right in the middle of the day.
This is the second year for Buffalo Ridge Prairie, so we’re letting it grow without any mowing. It’s looking pretty good – there are lots of prairie plants coming up and blooming, but there are still quite a few weeds. Continue reading
The prairies are all starting to bloom now and, as usual, I feel more optimistic about our success when there are lots of flowers in bloom. Continue reading
My caterpillars all died – they started eating the Box Elder, but I kept finding dead ones at the bottom of the cage. I put in some Norway Maple to see if that would help – they ate that too, but they kept dying. Continue reading