[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Knife Edge Prairie page.]
We worked hard on both the prairie area and the point of the Knife Edge this year.
In May and June I girdled most of the big aspens on the lower west-facing side of the point. There were some very large ones, so once they die, the point should get much more sun. I girdled some of the big walnuts too, but there are more of those to do next year.
I pulled and removed all the Queen Anne’s Lace plants in the main prairie area. Queen Anne’s Lace was common in all the prairies this year, and I couldn’t control it everywhere, but I decided to try to tackle it here.
In the prairie area, I continued my project to cut and treat aspen and gray dogwood sprouts. I got a large area cleared, on both sides of the path, and re-cut the sprouts that came up in the area I cleared last year. That work seems to be helping – and the prairie looks much better without the sprouts.
At the very end of the fall we did a big project to cut down the small trees in the main prairie area – mostly Wild Black Cherry and Apple. We had always meant to do that, but had never gotten to it. We removed all the trees we cut to a couple of big brush piles in the woods. I also marked a lot of the smaller trees at the edges of the prairie for future cutting – we have a friend who we hope will come later in the winter to do some cutting work for us.
2/5/2017 Knife Edge Point
2/5/2017 Knife Edge Point from lower on the hill.
2/5/2017 Narrow ridge on top of the point
5/5/2017 View of Center Valley from the point
5/5/2017 Looking south along the ridge toward the point. This was mowed about a month before this photo was taken. There are many Black Walnuts here, many of which I’ve girdled, so it will start to get more sun. The ground layer is dominated by raspberries, which I’m going to try to treat next spring.
5/25/2017 View from the point
6/2/2017 View of the point from the woods below
6/2/2017 Aspens in the woods below the point
6/2/2017 Girdled Aspens
6/23/2017 Hillside of Spiked Lobelia on the southwest-facing slope of the point
6/23/2017 Spiked Lobelia and Harebell
7/14/2017 Main prairie area with Butterflyweed
8/5/2017 The main prairie area – I’ve pulled the Queen Anne’s Lace in the foreground; beyond that it isn’t done yet.
8/6/2017 Path along the ridge
8/16/2017 Main prairie area with little trees – mostly apple and black cherry
8/16/2017 Rough Blazingstar and Showy Goldenrod
8/18/2017 Rough Blazingstar
8/24/2017 I found lots of White Gentain in the main prairie this year.
9/20/2017 View from the point with the aspens turning color
9/24/2017 This is one spot where I was working on cutting aspen and gray dogwood sprouts. The sprouts are gone in the foreground, but not in the background area.
11/13/2017 Frost on the grass, just before we started cutting trees
11/13/2017 Later that day – some trees cut, and piles ready for the tractor
11/17/2017 Looking north into the prairie area
12/5/2017 Some of the piles cleared
12/6/2017 More piles cleared
12/19/2017 Trees marked for cutting with green ribbon