Journal for February 2001

We marked the acres for our prairie planting: Center Valley and the Pines field.  We may have to mark it all over again because it’s supposed to snow 8 inches or so in the next few days.

There are lots of turkey tracks in the snow.  I’m sure they’ve been there and we just haven’t noticed them before.  There’s a set of 8 tracks going up the hill together and one straggler.  We also saw a flock of  “real” turkeys in the woods beyond Indian Grass Prairie.

We talked to a guy, who builds log cabins, about cutting our pines; I think we’ll do it next winter.

Found a “woozle”.  We saw an odd track after we finished with our marking and decided to take a walk.  It looked like a stick being dragged, but no footprints near it.  We puzzled over it for several minutes until we realized that it was the string we were using to mark the acres, being dragged behind us.

There’s a very hard crust on the snow, so I don’t think we can plant for a bit.  We were hoping to start next week, but we may not be able to.
So, we took a long walk; Indian Grass Prairie, then along the east side of the hill to a new prairie – looks nice but weedy.  It will be fun to see it when the snow is gone.  We tried a tiny burn in a spot about 1 ½ feet square, surrounded by snow.  A little wet, but it did burn.  Walked down the next point – between fingers 2 and 3 of 3 Finger Valley.  Another nice, overgrown, prairie spot.  We saw a flock of turkeys in the woods above the house site – at least 20, I think more than 40 birds.  They all flew, making a great ruckus.  Later, we saw 25 turkeys on Pine Point Field.  The deer have been scrounging for the soybeans that Rory left, and the whole field and also the Western Valley Field, is dug up and trampled.  We visited the new spring below Pine Point Field – I think it’s really Ed’s spring.

We saw a Golden Eagle tipping his was across the fields on top – a juvenile – very clear band on his tail, brownish look to its head, and white on its wings.  Wonderful!

We started planting today.  Virginia came along and helped.  We planted 4 acres on the east side of Center Valley.  It wasn’t too hard to do – the snow was smooth and east to walk on, but the wind picked up as the day went on, and I worried about the seeds blowing away.  (We came back on 3/6, and could see some seed, at least, which had worked its was down into the snow.  So, we’ll see.)  We didn’t want to make Virginia work too hard – she’s not used to snowshoeing – so we quit and went for an easy walk, along the creek.  We went all the way from the Beaver Lake west across the driveway, and nearly to the western edge of our land.  We saw lots of trout.  I think they were caught between beaver dams because the water was so low.  They were very calm, so we could see them well.  In some places they stayed in small groups and I could see their spots – the first time I’ve been able to see them well enough to be sure they were really trout.  One group was about 13, and others were similar in size.  It was a nice walk.