[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Hidden Oaks Point page.]
This year, for the first time, we hired some folks to do some work for us. We asked them to start with clearing Hidden Oaks Hillside – the southwest facing hillside on Hidden Oaks Point.
2/6/2017 Here’s the point before they started. Mike and I have worked on it for several years – cutting small trees and brush – so it’s much more open that it was when we started.
2/6/2017 This was the view from the top – before they started.
2/6/2017 This is the way the hill looks from farther down 3 Finger Valley.
2/13/2017 And just coming into Goldenrod Valley.
2/13/2017 They’re starting to cut. I marked all the trees I wanted them to save, and they cut the rest.
2/14/2017 More trees coming down, and it’s looking more open.
2/14/2017 Here they are, working. They are Kule Region Forestry – from LaCrosse.
2/14/2017 The crew from Kule Region Forestry – Kyle, Beth, and Erik
2/15/2017 It’s much more open now.
2/15/2017 Now our job is to clean up all the slash.
2/15/2017 I found a small clump of Rattlesnake Plantain – a native orchid – on the new savanna hillside.
2/15/2017 Lots of hauling to do.
3/11/2017 We’ve started working, but there’s still a lot to go.
3/15/2017 Mike picking up piles with the tractor
3/17/2017 We’ve gotten most of the brush piles cleared. Now all that’s left are the round logs. And they roll!
3/18/2017 We made up a game to see how far we could roll each log. The hill is very steep, but there were lots of hazards – cut stumps, other logs, and the logs aren’t evenly round, so they usually roll at an angle. So it was a challenge to get them all the way down in one roll.
5/12/2017 But we finally finished.
6/1/2017 The lower slope, just north of where it was cleared, has some nice savanna plants. This is Ebony Speenwort – a fern that grows in savannas.
6/1/2017 Another plant on the lower, cleared slope – Hoary Puccoon
6/24/2017 White Wild Indigo blooming
8/18/2017 The bluff prairie on top of the point
10/20/2017 Bluff prairie