Journal for April 26, 2011

Some Prairie Enthusiasts came down from Eau Claire on Saturday, and helped us clear more brush from the top of Sumac Prairie.  It was a great day!  Everyone worked very hard, and we got a lot done.

Here we are, just at the end, spraying the last few stumps.


Some of our brush piles



The crew: Mike, Jim Schwarzmeier, Judy Schwarzmeier, Glen Fisher, Marcie

After the work was done, we took Glen for a long walk – to completely tire him out!  Here’s the Big View Bench photo of Glen and Mike.


Mike took photos of Sumac Prairie from the road, trying to show the work we’ve been doing.

Here’s the whole remnant – the part we were working on is at the top of the bluff, on the left side of the open area.

Here’s a zoomed in view – those are our brush piles at the top.


Yesterday Mike and I went back up to Sumac Prairie to move the brush piles back into the woods.  We had a lot to do – piles left over from last fall, in addition to the ones we made a few days ago.

Mike moving piles

Here’s a sequence of photos showing the transformation of the area we worked on last fall.  This was taken last November, before we started cutting.


A slightly different view showing our brush piles (last fall)

And here it is now – after removing the brush piles.


These are some of the piles from last Saturday.


We got rid of some of them, but the rest will have to wait for another day.


The flowers are starting to come now – although the weather has been cool, so it’s a nice slow spring.

Common Whitlow Grass (actually one of the early mustards – not a grass).  I haven’t found as much of it this year.  I measured this plant, and including the flower stalk, it was one and a half inches tall – easy to miss!

Frost melting on Pussytoes flowers


I’m always looking for white butterflies in the early spring.  Some of the unusual whites –  Olympia Marbles and Mustard Whites – fly very early in Wisconsin, and they lay their eggs on native mustards.   I didn’t find either of the butterflies, but for the last few days I’ve seen dozens of tiny bees nectaring on the flowers – both on the mustards and the early violets. They sit with their heads deep inside the flowers.

Bees on Sand Cress


Here’s one with its head out


There were bees on the early violets to0.  This is a Common Blue Violet.


And I found a few Bird’s Foot Violets – they’re just starting to bloom.