I love the colors of this beginning of fall time – there are still leaves on most of the trees, but the Black Walnut trees are bare, and leaf colors range from dark green to brilliant red.
Hidden Oaks Prairie
A few weeks ago we visited friends who have spectacular property in Marquette County – east central Wisconsin. It’s a mix of sand prairie and Black Oak savanna, with a bog and a small pond. We hiked, searched for moths, and canoed on the pond at dusk; Mike took photos with his drone, and got to drive the Tesla across the prairie,
Here are a few photos from the trip – click HERE to see more.
Shelley, Mike and David in the savanna
Boardwalk into the bog
Pitcher plants in the bog
Tesla in the prairie – with Mike ready for a drone flight
View from the drone
Another adventure we had was a tour of prairies and savannas in Crawford County – one of the counties south of here, along the Mississippi River. We saw several interesting restored savannas, and some planted prairies. To see all our photos from that tour, click HERE.
Here’s Armund’s restored savanna hillside – near DeSoto, Crawford County.
And another restored savanna, near Ferryville, Crawford County
We’re working on several projects on our land this fall. I’m cutting and clearing several hillsides – some prairie, some savanna. And we’re getting one of our old fields ready to plant with prairie seeds.
This is part of that old field, which includes an earthen dam. The plants growing here now are mostly Smooth Brome and Canada Goldenrod.
We had the local farm coop spray it with glyphosate about a week ago.
They use an extremely wide sprayer, so they can get it done very quickly.
Soon I’ll divide it into sections with stakes, and then throw the seeds out on top of the snow this winter.
There are still a few butterflies around. This was about a week ago – a Monarch and a Painted Lady nectaring on the same patch of Rough Blazing Star.
Great Plains Ladies Tresses on Indian Grass Point – a fall blooming orchid in dry prairies
New England Aster is blooming now in all our planted prairies and some of our remnants. Some of the blossoms are dark purple,
Some are bright pink,
And some pale pink. The bees and butterflies like all of them.
Fringed Gentians are blooming in the wetland. I couldn’t find any last year, so I was glad to see some this year.
We still have a few blooming Harebells,
And Sky Blue Asters.
This is a common day-flying moth – Yellow-collared Scape Moth – on Frost Aster.
When the temperatures are cooler, I have much more luck attracting moths with bait than with lights. This is a tree trunk with bait on a good night. The bait is a mix of brown sugar and old bananas – mashed together and left to ferment for a few days.
These are a few of the moths that come to my bait.
Lithophane scottae – doesn’t have a common name
Les Ferge identified this one as (probably) Pachypolia atricornis
Bicolored Sallow This species has two forms. One is all yellow-brown, like this.
The other form of Bicolored Sallow – with a purplish-brown outer half of its wings.
Western Prairie has more Indian Grass this year than it ever has before.
Morning mist in Center Valley