I’ve been scanning old photos of the farm – ones that we took in 2000 and 2001 with our old, pre-digital camera. We got our first digital camera in early 2002, and all of a sudden our record keeping got much better. Before that, there were fewer photos and not very good ones. But we do have records of what many of the places looked like before we started any restoration work. I’ve been having fun going through those early photos and trying to find matching views that we took later, so we can compare, and marvel over the changes.
This is the Knife Edge Prairie – a mesic remnant that in 2000 consisted of one small open prairie area, surrounded by an extensive area of brush and small trees hiding prairie vegetation. We first mowed the brush in June 2001, and we’ve continued to do an early spring mowing most of the years since then.
Knife Edge Prairie 2000 before we’d done any mowing
Knife Edge Prairie – August 2007
3 Finger Valley is a narrow valley that runs through the middle of our land. It was the second field we planted into prairie, in the winter of 2001/2002.
Here it is in the summer of 2000 – planted in soybeans.
The same view in August 2007
And the same view again, in 2010
This is Buffalo Ridge Prairie – a 20 acre field on the top of a point of our land. We planted it with prairie seeds in the winter of 2004/2005.
Here it is in 2000, as a soy bean field.
And here’s the same view in July 2010
And this is Pat’s Prairie – named after my wonderful mother-in-law Pat O’Connor. It was one of the fields we planted that first year – the winter of 2000/2001. So this picture is from fall 2000.
Here’s the same view from July 2011