[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Knife Edge Prairie page.]
1/28/2002 – A dead apple tree in the prairie
1/28/2002 Path along the ridge
1/28/2002 View down the point and into Center Valley.
1/28/2002 Looking down from the point at 3 Finger Valley
4/28/2002 We did a lot of mowing this spring. We widened the main prairie area, and mowed out the brush between that wide part of the prairie, and the beginning of the Cat’s Paw Prairie (still a corn field at that time). This is looking toward the Knife Edge Prairie from the Cat’s Paw Prairie before we started mowing.
4/28/2002 One of the prairie edges before mowing
4/28/2002 Mowing the edges
4/28/2002 More mowing
Most of what we mowed was Gray Dogwood and Aspen. We also cut down some of the small trees so Mike could mow – aspen and Black Cherry. Unfortunately, we left some of the stumps sticking up too far. At one point while Mike was mowing, he hit a stump and got caught – stuck on top of the stump. It took us a while to get the tractor off the stump, and then we didn’t want to take it back down the hill because it looked pretty damaged. A guy from the implement place in Menomonie came out to help. He brought a huge crowbar, stuck it into the tractor, and bent things back into place. And it worked! Mike is planning to buy a big crowbar – clearly a handy thing to have around.
5/6/2002 We did a tiny burn on the end of the point early in the spring. This was taken after the burn, when things were just beginning to green up.
6/24/2002 Hoary Puccoon bloomed in the main prairie area – clearly not hurt by the mowing. And lots of growth of both weeds and prairie plants.
In July there were lots of prairie plants blooming in the mowed areas:
Andropogon gerardii – Big Bluestem
Asclepias tuberosa – Butterfly Weed
Bouteloua curtipendula – Side-oats Grama
Bromus kalmii – Prairie Brome
Desmodium canadense – Canada Tick-trefoil
Galium boreale – Northern Bedstraw
Liatris aspera – Rough Blazing Star
Ratibida pinnata – Yellow Coneflower
Solidago missouriensis – Missouri Goldenrod
Solidago rigida – Stiff Goldenrod
Solidago speciosa – Showy Goldenrod
Also, lots of Queen Anne’s Lace, and some of the bushes (mostly Gray Dogwood) are coming back. The newly mowed area, on the north side, has some nice plants coming up (Northern Bedstraw, Asters), but the dogwood is coming right back. It’s already a foot tall. Saw a Coral Hairstreak on the Butterfly Weed.
8/18/2002 In August we mowed the main prairie area again to see if that would help control the weeds.