Journal for August 2003

8/2, 8/3, 8/4/03
A very rainy weekend – great clouds with a few rumbles of thunder, short, hard rainstorms, and thick morning mist.

There was a catbird eating grape jelly.

We’ve been doing lots of preparations for the big WWLT party next weekend.

8/9, 8/10, 8/11/03
The WWLT party was this Saturday – a success in spite of the disorganized preparations they did.  About 70 people, we think, just enough for us – we got to meet nearly everyone.  I think Rick and al were hoping for more.  We took them on one guided tour – about 15 people on a farm cart behind the tractor – to Hidden Oaks Meadow and Prairie.  Everyone seemed interested and had a good time, I think.  Lisa and John came and then spent the night.  We had a bonfire after the real party was over and drank wine and a few people had s’mores.

Lisa and John and I walked around all day Sunday, taking the tour, and looking for dragonflies.  We found:
Canada Darner
Twelve spotted Skimmers
White-faced Meadowhawks
Cherry-faced Meadowhawks

And we saw a few damselflies – not many.

Lisa saw a Fisher up on the Knife Edge – but I had gone up in the gator, so I didn’t see it.

We saw lots of tree frogs on the grass leaves along Torks’ pond.  Sometimes several on one leaf.  I took lots of pictures.

Yesterday Mike mowed 3 Finger Valley – the second time this year, and today he mowed the western Center Valley field top and bottom.  It was sad to see all those flowers go, but it will be good in the long run.

I pulled Queen Anne’s Lace on the Knife Edge – I’m hoping we won’t have to mow it – it’s so beautiful.  There’s lots of Liatris and Yellow Coneflowers – the Liatris isn’t quite in bloom yet.  I watched a Viceroy laying eggs on aspen shoots – I collected one egg and will try to get it to hatch.

Richard and I finished our puzzle.

8/22, 8/23, 8/24, 8/25/03
We came down Friday this week, because Mike had to go to Chicago to meet Steve and do some computer work at a company there.  Then he and Steve are coming back here until Monday.  So I had nearly 24 hours here by myself – odd, especially being here along at night.

Mike mowed Goldenrod Valley before he left – now all the prairies are mowed (for Queen Anne’s Lace and Goldenrod) except East Center Valley, and the Knife Edge.  It seems very bare.

I’ve been working hard on weeding Queen Anne’s Lace out of the Knife Edge prairie.  It’s nearly done – and it looks so nice.  I’m finding new areas of Kuhnia, lots of small plants of Butterfly Weed, and many asters ready to bloom.  Heath, Arrow leafed, Sky-blue, Calico, and Silky.  Last night I was up there weeding in the early evening under one of the apple trees.  A flock of chickadees (about 10) and a few warblers flew into the tree and chirped at me and I pished back.  We talked to each other for about 5 minutes.  It’s nice to see the chickadees – I was worried that they had been badly affected by West Nile Virus – but some, at least, have survived.

Yesterday and today I saw several warblers – they must be starting to migrate: Tennessee, Canada, Blue Winged, and a few others that I’m not sure about.

8/29, 8/30, 8/31/03
Much cooler this weekend – and much less humid.  I finished pulling Queen Anne’s Lace from the Knife Edge – it looks really nice now.  All the asters are ready to bloom.

We hauled a lot of the logs and other slash from the Pine Point Prairie back to the fire pile.  That will make it much easier to mow.

Mike did a lot of Tordon poisoning of sumac – both on Sumac Prairie and on Hidden Oaks.

There are 4 bats in the bat house today!  The larger house – I can’t see into the smaller one because it has a closed bottom – bad design – I may take it down over the winter.  I need to find out what kind of bats they are and where they spend the winter.

We also squirted off several wasp nests – the wasps were busily building another one above the porch.