Journal for June 25, 2017

Summer has arrived.  So far it’s been nearly perfect – not many hot days, and just enough rain.  This was an especially good year for Golden Alexanders.  They’re flourishing in all our planted prairies, and in some of the savannas we’ve cleared.

Golden Alexanders in 3 Finger Valley


We’ve had several small floods in the creek, so we’re feeling glad we took out the beaver dam – this flooding didn’t damage the driveway at all.


We still had a pile of rocks and gravel in the creek from the times the flood did wash out the driveway.   So we spent a wonderful afternoon wading in the creek, rearranging them to make more ripples and rapids.


Here’s the final arrangement – we’re hoping the trout will enjoy it.


We’ve had several chances to use our Surrey.  Chuck and Anna came to visit for the first ride of the season.


Mike and Jim tested out the new beverage holders.


Jim and Leslie got to see some beautiful sphinx moths close up.


Virginia Waterleaf is often considered a weed in gardens.  But it’s a native, and here at the farm it only grows in a few moist shady places.  Here it is along the edge of Cabin Road.


Virginia Waterleaf


I found several nice prairie/savanna natives growing on the newly cleared Hidden Oaks hillside….

Ebony Speenwort


and Hoary Puccoon.


The hillside is looking better now that it has greened up and some of the flowers are blooming.


I’ve been spending most of my time in the last few weeks pulling Wild Parsnip in the wetland.   It’s a good way to find unexpected wetland treasures.

Red-winged Blackbird nest


Bronze Copper butterfly


White Admirals and Red-spotted Purples are considered the same species in spite of how different they look.  Red-spotted Purples are much more common here – this is the first White Admiral I’ve seen this year.


Indian Grass Savanna


The Narrows Prairie – with Golden Alexanders, White Wild Indigo, and Northern Bedstraw


It’s been a good year for Spiderwort too – these are in Western Prairie.


Northern Bedstraw at night


Gray Tree Frog keeping an eye on moths at the lights.


A few of the moths….



Blinded Sphinx


Coleophora – I love its feathery hindwings.


Twin-spotted Sphinx


Storm to the south


A stormy evening sky