Journal for November 9, 2017

In the last few weeks we’ve been watching the landscape turn from fall to winter.

There’s always a brisk, windy day, just as the fall colors are at their brightest, that blows down most of the leaves.

Sugar Maples on Maple Ridge before the wind came through


Indian Grass Savanna


Hidden Oaks Point


We’ve seen some of the last few butterflies of the season.

Painted Lady on October 17


Common Buckeye on October 19



Until about a week ago, there were still a few flowers blooming.

Partridge Pea




Blood Milkwort


Sand Cress


Flocks of bluebirds have been migrating through.


Sunset from the Knife Edge Point


Then the snow came …. a small storm during the night.


The snow stayed longer on the tops of the hills, but melted quickly in the valleys.


The snow sticks to fallen trees, but melts on the floor of the woods. It makes it easy to spot the slash from old logging operations.


Then, a few days later, we had a bigger storm.


The snow still didn’t last long – this is Buffalo Ridge Prairie the next afternoon.


And Buffalo Ridge Prairie, looking down into Volvo Meadow – one of my prairie planting projects for this winter.  Western Prairie is in the distance.


Mike and I have still been able to work outside most days, unless it’s raining or snowing.  We’re working on two clearing projects.

The first one is a corner of Indian Grass Point, at the north end of the savanna area.  There’s a small west-facing prairie opening, and next to it, a jungle of brush that hides some old, open-grown oaks.

Here it is just before we started work – on October 17.


Here’s the same view from November 3.


Here’s one of the oaks we were working to liberate.  There are still piles to remove – we’ll finish that once the ground freezes so the tractor doesn’t tear it up.


And here’s the second project – a thicket of brush at the entrance to Hidden Oaks Point.


The weather has been too warm to use the tractor, so most of the brush is cut, but still in piles.


We see deer everywhere these days, and they don’t act afraid even when we come close.


Sunset from Hidden Oaks bench