Journal for October 8, 2015

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

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.

Sand prairie

prairie 1


Shelley, Mike and David in the savanna

savanna 5



savanna 8


Boardwalk into the bog

bog 2


Pitcher plants in the bog

bog 1


Tesla in the prairie – with Mike ready for a drone flight toys


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.

pats prairie 1


We had the local farm coop spray it with glyphosate about a week ago.

pats prairie spraying 1


They use an extremely wide sprayer, so they can get it done very quickly.

pats prairie spraying 2

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.

Painted Lady and Monarch 9-20-15


Painted Lady

Painted Lady 9-20-15 2


Painted Lady

Painted Lady 9-20-15 1


Great Plains Ladies Tresses on Indian Grass Point – a fall blooming orchid in dry prairies

Spiranthes magnicamporum


New England Aster is blooming now in all our planted prairies and some of our remnants.  Some of the blossoms are dark purple,

ne aster 2


Some are bright pink,

ne aster 3


And some pale pink.  The bees and butterflies like all of them.

ne aster 1


Fringed Gentians are blooming in the wetland.  I couldn’t find any last year, so I was glad to see some this year.

fringed gentians 1


Fringed Gentian

fringed gentian 1


We still have a few blooming Harebells,



Evening Primroses

evening primrose


And Sky Blue Asters.

sky blue aster


This is a common day-flying moth – Yellow-collared Scape Moth – on Frost Aster.

Cisseps fulvicollis 9-22-15 1


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.

moths on bait 9-24-15


These are a few of the moths that come to my bait.

Scalloped Sallow

Eucirroedia pampina 9-24-15 1


Lithophane scottae – doesn’t have a common name

Lithophane scottae 10-7-15 2


Les Ferge identified this one as (probably) Pachypolia atricornis 

Pachypolia atricornis 10-5-15


Singed Pinion

Lithophane semiusta 9-24-15 1


Bicolored Sallow  This species has two forms.  One is all yellow-brown, like this.

Sunira bicolorago 10-7-15 1


The other form of Bicolored Sallow – with a purplish-brown outer half of its wings.

Sunira bicolorago 10-6-15 1


Western Prairie has more Indian Grass this year than it ever has before.
western prairie


Morning mist in Center Valley

mist in the valley