Knife Edge Prairie 2014

[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Knife Edge Prairie page.]

This year we did our usual early spring mowing of the prairie area.  Mike also mowed out some of the woods on either side of the path into the prairie.  I girdled some of the trees there, to try to open it up even more.   During the fall, I worked on clearing the steep, west-facing slope of the knife edge.

4/19/2014  just after the spring mowing

4-19-14 1 after mowing


4/19/2014  after mowing

4-19-14 2 after mowing


4/19/2014   While Mike was mowing, he startled an American Woodcock.  She flew up, but then settled back down once he moved on.  Later we went back and found her sitting on a nest.  She’s in this photo, but very well camouflaged.

4-19-14 1 woodcock


4/19/2014   Woodcock on her nest  4-19-14 2 woodcock


4/21/2014  The Knife Edge Point

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5/21/2014  Entrance into the Knife Edge Prairie – looking back to the Cat’s Paw (planted) Prairie

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5/31/2014   Part of the newly mowed entrance area – with Golden Alexanders blooming

5-31-14 1 golden alexanders


5/31/2014  a wider view of the newly mowed entrance – looking south into the prairie

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5/31/2014  I girdled aspens, birches and walnuts that were growing around and through the mowed area.

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6/3/2014  Path along the top of the ridge

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6/13/2014   Path along the ridge

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6/27/2014  View from the Knife Edge Point

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6/27/2014  Knife Edge Prairie with Fleabane and Butterfly Weed

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6/27/2014  There were always butterflies on the Butterfly Weed this year.

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6/27/2014   Northern Crescent on Butterfly Weed

6-27-14 4 Northern Crescent


6/27/2014  Mowed area by the entrance to the prairie

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7/23/2014   Path along the ridge

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7/23/2014  Missouri Goldenrod

7-23-14 3 Missouri Goldenrod


7/23/2014   Yellow Coneflower blooming, Rough Blazing Star just about to bloom

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8/1/2014   Entrance to the prairie

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8/20/2014  The right, west-facing side of the point is some of what I’ve been clearing of brush and grape vines.

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8/25/2014   Stiff and Showy Goldenrod, and Rough Blazing Star

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8/25/2014  The path along the ridge.  To the right of the big oaks is an area that we mowed a few times, but not for several years.  Right now it’s mostly raspberries.  We’re going to try keeping it mowed, and removing the small walnut trees, and see what comes up.

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9/8/2014  Showy Goldenrod and Rough Blazing Star

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9/8/2014   Cream Gentian – I’ve never seen it growing here before.  We have a little Cream Gentian growing naturally on our land, but not much, and I’ve only found it in a few places.  This could be another one, but it could also be that a bird or animal brought the seed in from the Cat’s Paw Prairie – our nearest planted prairie.

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10/19/2014  The west-facing slope of the point, looking north, showing the part I’ve been clearing.  The whole slope, down to the oak woods at the bottom, has prairie plants.  It’s a lot of work to get it cleared, but very rewarding to see the prairie coming back.

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10/19/2014  View south from the Knife Edge Point

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10/19/2014  The Knife Edge Point – the sandy area mid-way down the point

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