Indian Grass Point 2015

[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Indian Grass Point page.]

We did a lot of work on this prairie this year.  I pulled weeds and cut invaders in the prairie and savanna remnant areas we’ve cleared in the last few years.    We gave the savanna a spring mowing.   The biggest project was right at the end of the season – clearing most of the brush and some of the smaller trees from the hillside just above the house.  I also threw some local prairie seeds out in the restored savanna.

2/6/2015  Mike on the Indian Grass bench on a warm February day

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3/9/2015  The path up the hill from the house.  This is the area we worked on later – in November.  In March it was still very brushy and woods-like.

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3/9/2015  West-facing slope – looking more like a prairie every year.  It takes the dead birches a long time to fall, and even longer to decompose.

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3/12/2015   The east-facing slope of the prairie

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3/30/2015  Early spring snowless days are good times to work on expanding our cleared places.

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4/13/2015  Cleared Savanna

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5/15/2015  Hoary Puccoon in the cleared savanna

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5/19/2015   East-facing slope below the prairie point.  Native prairie plants are beginning to come back after the extensive clearing I did a few years ago.  I haven’t planted anything here – this is all coming from seeds or plants that were already there.

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5/22/2015  West-facing slope – this is a part of the hill that I cleared a few years ago.  It’s full of prairie flowers – Hoary Puccoon, Wild Columbine, Blue-eyed Grass.

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6/14/2015   East facing slope

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6/26/2015   White Camas and Harebell

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7/8/2015  Prairie Coreopsis

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7/8/2015  Prairie Coreopsis

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7/18/2015  Monarda

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7/22/2015  Whorled Milkweed

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9/22/2015   Great Plains Ladies Tresses – a native orchid that grows on dry prairies

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10/6/2015  East facing slope – I’m working to clear down below the big oaks, so that lower part will get back to being savanna.

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10/6/2015  East facing slope

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10/10/2015  West facing slope – the birch trees are all dead, there are a few small Burr Oaks, and lot of prairie plants coming back.  This is another hillside where I haven’t planted anything – it’s coming back on its own.

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10/25/2015   This is the view up the slope behind the house.  This is the area we worked on in November.  This photo shows it before we started.

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11/2/2015  More ‘before’ photos of that slope.

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10/9/2015  The path winding up through the brush

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11/29/2015  After a little clearing work

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11/29/2015  The path

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12/3/2015  After most of the clearing was done – for this year

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12/5/2015  The path after a lot of clearing

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12/5/2015  The border between the prairie and the woods is full of brambles.

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12/5/2015  The best way I know of to get rid of brambles is to cut and treat the stems.

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12/5/2015  Looking down from the point – still lots of small trees to cut

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12/5/2015  Sunset through the oak branches

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12/18/2015   Finished clearing for this year.  This is the way the path looks now – we can see all the way up to the point.

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12/18/2015  We threw all the stuff we cut down the hill into these big piles.  Afterwards Mike picked them up with the tractor and moved them to our giant brush pile near the compost pile.  Done for the winter.

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This is a list of prairie seeds I scattered under the oaks in the restored savanna area.  All these seeds were collected on our land.
Agastache scrophulariaefolia
Aster novae-angliae 
Astragalus canadensis
Campanula americana
Hypericum pyramidatum
Solidago flexicaulis  
Solidago missouriensis 
Solidago speciosa
Zizia aurea

Also planted – purchased seeds of
Lilium philadelphicum
Tephrosia virginiana

I also planted some seeds, either from friends or purchased, on the prairie point.  It’s the first time I’ve done this – I’ve decided that I’ve waited long enough for some of the special plants to come back, so I’m starting to plant ones that should be here.
Agalinis aspera
Anemone patens
Liatris cylindracea
Penstemon grandiflorus
Talinum rugospermum