Knife Edge Prairie – 2019

[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Knife Edge Prairie page.]

Nearly all the work I did here this year involved cutting and treating brush in the flat prairie area at the north end of the point.  I did do one bit of cutting and treating on the point itself – just at the bottom on the west-facing slope.  And I discovered a new plant for the farm – October Ladies’ Tresses – a lovely little fall blooming orchid.  It’s considered of ‘special concern’ in Wisconsin, and this is the farthest north it’s been found in the state.




5/24/2019  The sandy slope at the south end of the point



6/1/2019   Violet Wood Sorrel – in the woods below the point



7/2/2019   Prairie Larkspur blooming on the point



7/7/2019  The broad flat prairie area at the north end of the point



7/7/2019  Butterflyweed blooming



7/20/2019  Looking down the point.  The birches (which I girdled many years ago) have mostly fallen.   Some of the dead girdled Black Walnuts are still standing.  The remaining live trees are oaks, with Black Walnuts farther down the hill.



7/29/2019  The view down the point and south through Center Valley.



7/29/2019  This is the area where I cut and treated aspen and Gray Dogwood last year.  There are still sprouts coming up, but not nearly as many.



8/2/2019  This is the sandy area on the point where I cut and treated mostly Prickly Ash and raspberries.  I’d done about half of it when this photo was taken.



8/13/2019  The same hillside showing more cleared patches of raspberries, and the west-facing prairie hillside that I was working toward.



8/13/2019  Rough Blazing Star  nearly in bloom



8/18/2019  The west facing slope of the point (on the right) is still quite overgrown – a project for another year.



8/18/2019  This is the raspberry thicket at the north end of the point.  We’ve been mowing it every year, and we’ve girdled and removed trees, so it gets more light now.  There are prairie/savanna plants coming up – Showy Goldenrod, Monarda, Giant St. John’s Wort, Field Thistle, Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  One day I hope to cut and treat the raspberries so the prairie plants will have a better chance.


8/21/2019   Rough Blazing Star



8/24/2019   This is the sandy place on the tip of the point.  The flowers blooming here are Gray Goldenrod and Wormwood.



8/28/2019  Just north of the raspberry patch – a thicket of sumac, raspberries and Gray Dogwood comes up ever summer in spite of spring mowing.  So this year I cut and treated each woody stem in this patch.



9/5/2019  Clearing partly done



9/7/2019  Clearing done for this year



9/15/2019  This part was cleared of brush last year.



9/15/2019   More of the area that’s been cleared of brushy shoots in the last few years.



9/15/2019  Then I started on this brushy section – lots of prairie plants, but also thick Gray Dogwood and aspen sprouts.



9/30/2019  In among the prairie plants and the brush I found this – October Ladies’ Tresses.  A rare native orchid that blooms late into the fall.



9/30/2019  Closeup of the flowers



10/13/2019  This cloud had snow in it – it was snowing before we got back to the house.






11/15/2019  Path into the Knife Edge Prairie from the north