[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
4/19/2014 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.
4/21/2014 The Knife Edge Point
5/21/2014 Entrance into the Knife Edge Prairie – looking back to the Cat’s Paw (planted) Prairie
5/31/2014 Part of the newly mowed entrance area – with Golden Alexanders blooming
5/31/2014 a wider view of the newly mowed entrance – looking south into the prairie
5/31/2014 I girdled aspens, birches and walnuts that were growing around and through the mowed area.
6/3/2014 Path along the top of the ridge
6/13/2014 Path along the ridge
6/27/2014 View from the Knife Edge Point
6/27/2014 Knife Edge Prairie with Fleabane and Butterfly Weed
6/27/2014 There were always butterflies on the Butterfly Weed this year.
6/27/2014 Northern Crescent on Butterfly Weed
6/27/2014 Mowed area by the entrance to the prairie
7/23/2014 Path along the ridge
7/23/2014 Missouri Goldenrod
7/23/2014 Yellow Coneflower blooming, Rough Blazing Star just about to bloom
8/1/2014 Entrance to the prairie
8/20/2014 The right, west-facing side of the point is some of what I’ve been clearing of brush and grape vines.
8/25/2014 Stiff and Showy Goldenrod, and Rough Blazing Star
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.
9/8/2014 Showy Goldenrod and Rough Blazing Star
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.
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.
10/19/2014 View south from the Knife Edge Point
10/19/2014 The Knife Edge Point – the sandy area mid-way down the point