[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Hidden Oaks Savanna page.]
The main project we did here this year was removing cut trees and brush from the meadow and savanna. Earlier in the winter we had our friend Todd cut walnut, black cherry, and other ‘weedy’ trees. We wanted to open the edges of those spaces enough that we could see the open-grown oaks that surround them.
1/8/2018 piles of cut brush
1/8/2018 more piles – but a much more open savanna
5/7/2018 After moving all the piles and mowing
5/12/2018 This shows the edge of the meadow. Most of the birches and aspens are girdled, and either dead or dying. We didn’t have Todd cut them – they’re good habitat for bugs and woodpeckers.
5/23/2018 This is the northern edge of the meadow – the part we cleared last winter. The bushes we left are all Wild Plum.
5/23/2018 The entrance to Hidden Oaks Savanna
5/23/2018 Looking into Hidden Oaks Savanna from the planted prairie (The Narrows Prairie)
6/4/2018 A pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers nested in one of the dead aspens along the edge of the meadow.
6/4/2018 Sapsucker in its nest
7/22/2018 We mowed some places that had dense populations of Canada Goldenrod, hoping to encourage a little more diversity.
7/22/2018 Mowing for Goldenrod
8/27/2018 Hidden Oaks Meadow with Monarchs. This is one of our two large patches of Rough Blazing-star – the other is on the Knife Edge Prairie. Blazing-star is a favorite of migrating Monarchs, and we saw dozens of them here this year.
10/12/2018 Looking from the savanna out to the prairie point