Journal for March 5, 2018

We’re in the time of the year when the weather alternates between winter and spring.  Mostly it’s still winter, but there are more and more spring-like days.  The snow is disappearing from some of the south-facing hillsides, so I’ve started working outside again.

The main outside project I’m doing – on days when there’s not too much snow underfoot – is cutting up and removing the trees we cut on the hillside above the house last fall.  We still have more thinning to do, and I have a lot more fallen trees to remove, but the hillside is definitely changing from a woods into a savanna.

I’ve also finished my two winter seeding projects – Volvo Meadow and Upper 3 Finger Valley.


We have two other projects going on.  The folks from Kule Region Forestry are cutting down the weedy woods that grew up on Point Point after we cut down the pine trees.

Mike blew out a path through Pat’s Prairie, so they could get to the point.


Here’s the hillside before they started.  They’ll remove the strip of brush above Pine Point Prairie, and then eventually work their way up the hill to open up the savanna below Big View Prairie.


Here’s a better view of the eastern side of the same hill – the beginning of our Dugway Trail, and the worst of the honeysuckle below the remaining pines.


And here are Erik and Beth and their two helpers, working away – cutting brush and burning piles.


Our friend Todd is working on two of our remnant savannas.  His most recent work is cutting trees around the edges of the Knife Edge Prairie.

The prairie area is getting much bigger – especially along the western edge.


The Knife Edge Prairie, looking north along the eastern edge


This shows the work Todd has done farther out on the Knife Edge Point.

As soon as more of the snow disappears and the ground hardens, Mike and I will clean up the slash.


Last week we had a storm that coated all the trees and prairie plants with ice.


Round-headed Bush Clover





Queen Anne’s Lace



Waumandee Creek





Along the driveway


Wetland and Sumac Prairie


Buffalo Ridge Prairie – Mike has been using the tractor to keep our walking paths open.



A deer highway




Deer – all in the air at the same time


More fast-moving deer


This was one of the spring-like days – sitting on the Knife Edge bench in February.


A Northern Goshawk that we’ve seen twice in the last few weeks.  It checks out the birds at our feeders, but I haven’t seen it catch any.


Sunrise before a storm