Journal for August 2001

Cooler and less humid than last week, but still hot.  Everything is very dry.  The Knife Edge Prairie, where we mowed, is looking good.  Blooming Big Bluestem, flowering spurge, side oats grama.  Not flowering, are Canada Tick Trefoil, Kuhnia eupatorioides, Bergamot, Yellow Coneflower, Whorled Milkweed.  Not many seeds are ready yet.

Feeders are still safe from the raccoons – the stovepipe works well.

Look for Bergamot seeds up Goldenrod Valley on the right from the new fire break.

Mike mowed a new path today – to all the prairies except Sumac.  We all it the “all prairie walk”.  We walked it tonight and it took two and a half hours.  We went up the steep end of the knife edge, then across the bean fields to Hidden Oaks, then Indian Grass, and then Big View Prairie, and down the dugway and back on the road.  It’s fun to walk across the fields and not have to worry about bean rows, or to push through the weeds.  (Lots of weeds and not many beans this year.)

I cut and sprayed sumac on Sumac Prairie and explored Sumac Corner Prairie – nice – hardly any sumac.  And I rescued some tadpoles from a dwindling puddle on Willow Road.  I put them in the frog pond.  Hopefully they’ll be happier there.

And we moved a bench from the beaver lake, which isn’t a lake any longer, to Sumac Prairie.  There’s a great view from the bench.

Saw two fawns at Torks’ Pond – they froze until we moved.

We mowed a path west from the road to Willow Bend and back around through all that wetland.  Great views of the bluff and the front field.  The tractor overheated again, and Emmett helped figure out that there’s one more filter to be cleared.  It works much better now.  And we did another path – a weed wacker path this time, from the mowed area above Sumac Prairie to the Sumac Corner Prairie.  It’s nice to be able to get there easily – it’s a good, small prairie.

8/18 & 8/19/01
Phil and Virginia, Owen, and our kids all came this weekend.  A great time!  Lots of music – Phil brought a mandolin, and Richard brought his guitar.  Owen was afraid of the dark, and didn’t like the outhouse, but he got to drive the gator, and the rest of us walked a lot, and saw most of the prairies.  We’d finally had a little rain the day before, so things aren’t looking so dried out.

Came out on my own today.  We started down yesterday, and stopped at a prairie along the road.  Mike called for messages, and found out that he had a meeting this morning early.  So, back we went.  Mike has his new green SUV, so it was a nice test drive.  Today I collected seeds from Hidden Oaks: Purple Prairie Clover, Leadplant, and Rockrose (down next to 3 Finger Valley).  I found Hairy Gramma blooming in Hidden Oaks Prairie.  There is lots of Blazing Star blooming this year in the small prairie north of Hidden Oaks.  Also lots of Queen Anne’s Lace.

We brought Mom and Peter down today, while the kids and Jocelyn went to the fair.  It was raining and we tried out the new car, driving up to the fields and out to Hidden Oaks Prairie.  The car was great – no hesitation at all, even on all the slippery, wet grass.  Mom was worried that we wouldn’t be able to get back down, so I don’t think she enjoyed it much.

Back again by ourselves.  Fixed the squirrel hole in the eaves, and saw a Canada Warbler in the bushes.  Lots of warblers fluttering in the bushes across from the cabin.

We went to see Tom Indrebo’s place – amazing!  He has lots of “bunkhouses” decorated with antlers and stuffed animals.  There’s a beautiful old barn with a cupola built onto the top, so you can sit and look out at the view.  We saw a fox on the road on the way to his place.