[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Pat’s Prairie page.]
The lower prairie didn’t change much this year, but this year I planted the upper prairie – the part that used to be an ‘old field’.
5/2/2016 Mike took this photo of Center Valley with the drone . It shows the fields there very clearly. To the right of the driveway is East Center Valley; The line of trees down the center of the valley is the overgrown intermittent stream bed. Left of the line of trees is Pat’s Prairie. The very brown part of Pat’s Prairie is the upper prairie – it goes along below the woods, all the way back into Western Valley, beyond the house. The greener part of Pat’s Prairie, with the wavy path through it, was planted with prairie seeds in 2000.
After spraying the upper prairie last fall, I used stakes to divide it into sections, and then planted my seeds in January and February.
1/14/2016 Scattering seeds in the upper prairie
1/14/2016 Looking across the lower prairie to the upper prairie
2/7/2016 Looking north at the house, across the lower prairie
3/27/2016 Snow melting on the newly planted prairie
3/27/2016 Looking north into Western Valley
5/2/2016 This drone photo shows all of Pat’s Prairie – the bare, newly planted part stretching back into Western Valley, and the smaller lower prairie.
5/2/2016 Another drone photo looking south down Center Valley, with Pat’s Prairie on the right. The bare area at the bottom right is our Geo Field – where we buried the pipes for our geothermal heat. I planted it with prairie seeds last winter.
6/6/2016 Wood Betony is a parasite on Canada Goldenrod, so in places where it grows in thick patches, there’s almost no goldenrod, which leaves room for other species. Here is a large patch of Wood Betony, sharing the space with Golden Alexander. An area with much more Canada Goldenrod, and no Wood Betony, is on the left.
6/14/2016 White Wild Indigo and Spiderwort
9/14/2016 Monarchs and Viceroys on Stiff Goldenrod – at the south end of the lower prairie
We mowed the new upper prairie twice this year. I saw some of the early appearing prairie plants coming up – Golden Alexander, Monarda, Field Thistle, and Yellow Coneflower. The most common weed so far is Common Mullein.