[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main East Center Valley page.]
2016 was a good year for this prairie. The upper, newer prairie had lots of blooming flowers, and has developed into a diverse plant community. The wet (south) end of the lower prairie is a beautifully diverse wet prairie. The rest of the lower prairie is still mostly dominated by Canada Goldenrod, but we’re working to change that.
1/2/2016 Frost at the wet end of the prairie
4/19/2016 Spring coming to the valley (East Center Valley Prairie is on the left).
5/2/2016 Photo from the drone, showing East Center Valley on the right of the driveway, Pat’s Prairie on the left
5/2/2016 Another drone photo of the same area but looking the other way – south down Center Valley, so East Center Valley is on the left. The bare field at the bottom right of the photo is the Geo Field – where we put the pipes for our geothermal heat. It was put in in November 2015, and I replanted it with prairie seeds later in the winter.
5/2/2016 This is our old ‘parking area’ – part of the upper prairie that we had sprayed and then planted a few years ago.
5/25/2016 The ‘parking area’ again – this year it had many more flowers – the yellow flowers are Wood Betony.
7/8/2016 Here is the main prairie (looking down from Indian Grass Point), showing both the upper and lower sections. The upper section – on the left – has lots of blooming flowers. This shows our experiment in the lower prairie – mowing a path through the worst of the goldenrod, and planting seeds of Wood Betony (Pedicularis canadensis) along it. Wood Betony is partially parasitic, and seems to particularly affect goldenrod. I’m hoping the mowing will damage the goldenrod a little, making it easier for the Wood Betony to get established. Also, mowing Canada Goldenrod in June for a few years in a row is supposed to discourage it. Next year we plan to mow a larger part of the lower field, and add more Wood Betony.
7/17/2016 The old parking area again – lots of Queen Anne’s Lace this year, but also plenty of natives: Field Thistle, Black-eyed Susan, Common Milkweed, and Oxeye.
8/26/2016 Looking from the wet end of the lower prairie, north along the driveway. Swamp Thistle, Blue Lobelia, and Sneezeweed, with Canada Goldenrod beyond.
8/26/2016 Sneezeweed, Blue Lobelia, Boneset, and Joe Pye Weed
8/26/2016 Blue Lobelia
9/10/2016 Looking north along the driveway showing all the flowering Brown-eyed Susan in the upper prairie
9/10/2016 Lower and upper prairies with September flowers
9/10/2016 Mostly the upper prairie with Brown-eyed Susan
9/17/2016 Fringed Gentian in the wet prairie
9/19/2016 Panicled Aster in the wet prairie
11/1/2016 Wet prairie below the planted pines