This was a big week at the farm. A crew of Prairie Enthusiasts came out to help cut sumac on one of our big remnants. It’s the first time we’ve had so much help – it was great! We got a lot cut and I think everyone had a good time.
Here we are getting organized.
We drove part of the way.
A pick-up truck full of folks
I forgot something and Mike came, in his all-terrain Lexus, to deliver it.
Here’s the crew working on the prairie. We were cutting those dense thickets of Sumac.
The thickets are pretty dense – we were cutting in crowded, prickly, scratchy places.
One of the cut areas – some of the guys got into felling trees too.
There are big patches of the prairie that are much more open now. The dead branches should disappear after a year or two.
A break for lunch
Joe eating his lunch in an old oak
Afterward I took a few hardy folks on a long walk to see some of the other prairies. Here we are inspecting Great Plains Ladies Tresses – an orchid that grows in dry goat prairies.
Another – smaller – project Mike and I did was to start clearing one of the areas where I’ve girdled the aspens and birches. Most of the trees have died, and many have fallen down, but a few are still standing. Mike discovered that he can drive into dead trees with his bucket to knock them down. And it’s fun!
Here he is, driving toward a dead aspen.
The tree is falling……
And it’s down.
I’m still putting up lights once in a while to see which moths stay out this late in the year. There are some familiar ones.
Dozens of Bent-line Carpets
And one new one – a Nameless Pinion (thanks to a bugguide contributor for help with the id)
These insects were all sipping sap from the branch of a honeysuckle bush. I didn’t realize that honeysuckle had tasty sap, but it looks like sometimes it does. There were actually several butterflies flying around, but only one landing at a time. The insects are: an Eastern Comma (butterfly), a fly, two Asian Lady Beetles, and some kind of stink bug or shield bug.
Sunset in Buffalo Ridge Prairie
A Red Maple in the woods
We took another long boat ride on the Mississippi River. It’s still flooding, but it’s gone down a little from last week.
The fall reflections are wonderful
Sunset over the marsh that we drive through to get back to the boat landing