[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Pat’s Prairie page.]
This is a view of Center Valley in the summer of 2000, when we bought our land. The lower fields – Pat’s Prairie on the left, and East Center Valley on the right – were planted in soybeans that year. The upper fields had been abandoned years before and had mostly Canada Goldenrod and Smooth Brome.
Soybeans in Pat’s Prairie that summer
And the same view that fall, when the soybeans had dried.
Looking east, from Pat’s Prairie toward East Center Valley
Fall 2000 view of Center Valley
The farmer never did harvest the beans, so when we planted the fields were very lumpy, with dead soybean stalks, and animal tracks everywhere. Mike was very frustrated with this corner. I had divided the field into sections, but I hadn’t estimated very well, and this section turned out to be much larger than I thought, because of the curve. So we had to spread the seeds more thinly, and we were afraid of running out.