Journal for November 2001

We’re staying for the night tonight – Jeff Reglin and his boys started building the road and leveling the house site today, so we’re keeping an eye on all that and figuring out where things should go.

It’s fun staying here this time of year – although today it has been very warm – the thermometer on our post by the cabin said 72 degrees.  The cabin gets warmed up by the porch, so it was actually hot inside.  We haven’t needed the woodstove at all.

We heard several screech owls on our walk tonight – calling to each other from one bluff to the next.  Then we heard them again back at the cabin.  We got out the owl tape after dinner, and then we attracted barred owls – at least 3 or 4 – all flying around the cabin and hooting like mad.  One perched in a tree above us, and we looked at it with a flashlight.  It took them a while to calm down after we turned off the tape.

Birds we see (or hear) these days:
Blue Jays
Red-tailed Hawk
Purple Finch
White Breasted Nuthatches
Downy Woodpeckers
Red-bellied Woodpeckers
Screech Owls
Barred Owls
Robins (flocks migrating)
Fox Sparrows

Last week we saw a Pileated Woodpecker fly right up to the cabin and search for insects in the trees near the outhouse, and from there around to the front of the cabin.

Dick and Mary Broeker came down to visit on Sunday – a beautiful day, and they thoroughly enjoyed it.  They were very interested in the prairies, and loved the terrain and the woods and the views.  We gave them a bag of prairie seeds, collected from our prairies, to get their prairies started.

We saw 3 Pileated Woodpeckers – they sound like turkeys when they’re chatting to each other quietly.

We got the 3 Finger Valley fields staked for prairie planting (on Friday).  We used better stakes this time – flat wooden ones painted with orange spray paint.  We can see them from a long way away.

We’re heading down today to watch them finishing the road.  It should all be finished except the gravel by the end of today.

Mike went down today to watch the last of the road work.  They’ll have to put a ditch along the road next to the wetland – hopefully they’ll be careful and we won’t loose those nice plants that are along the edge.

Yesterday I walked up the north and east-facing hill beyond the frog pond.  Lots of slash, one very deep gully – actually several gullies leading down to the field above the pond.  Mosses and a liverwort on the northern slopes.  Also a club moss – the first on the property – on the north slope.  Lots of dark green patches of it – Lycopodium lucidulum

I also checked out the west facing slopes below the Knife Edge.  There’s lots of prairie there – enough Bromus kalmii to collect, and more Gnapthalium obtusifolium than we have anywhere else.