Journal for December 15, 2006

It’s been a gray and brown few weeks – no snow, wind, and cold temperatures. Mike got a wide plow blade for the Powertrac – now he’s hoping for lots of snow so he can try it out.

Here’s Mike getting the blade off the truck.

And here’s the powertrac with its brand new blade.

I’ve been finishing up work on the seeds that I’ll plant this winter. They’re all divided now, and on Monday – the day after the last gun-hunting season finished – I packed them into garbage cans and took them up to Western Prairie.

Here are all the bags of seeds – ready to be packed into cans.

A can full of seeds.

Here are all the cans – packed and wired shut to keep the animals out.

I’ve been trying to plant more seeds this year, to see if I can keep Canada Goldenrod from invading the prairie. Canada Goldenrod is native, but very aggressive, and although I don’t plant it, there are so many plants in waste places and around the edges of fields that I can’t seem to keep it out of the prairies. I’ve gone from planting about 30 prairie seeds per square foot in our earliest prairies, to about 90 seeds per square foot in this last one, hoping that will help. Unfortunately all our experiments on the prairies happen in slow motion – in 3 or 4 years we should be able to tell if it makes a difference.

There are so many more seeds this year that I had to use 5 garbage cans instead of 4 to hold all the bags of seeds. Five cans don’t fit as well into the gator, so I had to improvise.

Here are the cans on Western Prairie. As soon as we get a little snow, I can start planting.

We did some more logging of the dead aspens on Hidden Oaks Point. It’s very rewarding – the point is looking more and more like a savanna. Here’s Mike starting work.

And here it is after we finished.

This is an old photo taken in 2002 showing what it looked like before we started clearing.

We still have a long way to go – there are plenty of aspens left to cut.