Wetland – 2019

[To see stories and photos from other years, see the links on the main Wetland page.]

This year was the first year when I’ve felt hopeful that we may actually be able to eliminate most Wild Parsnip from our land.  The parsnip areas I’ve worked on in the past didn’t take nearly as long this year, so I had time to pull out parsnip in a large area that I’d never worked on before – and had never really explored before.

I found several interesting species this summer – a new plant for the farm, Snowy Campion, and a butterfly that I’ve only seen here once before: a Reakirt’s Blue.

And I planted one new wet prairie in the field below the old farmhouse.



1/6/2019  The beavers made a winter food pile in the creek just above the driveway.


1/15/2019  The beavers also started gnawing on the larger trees that grow along the creek.  We’re fine with that except for this tree, which is right next to the driveway and holds several of our trail cameras.   Our fencing seems to keep them out – so far.




2/25/2019  We got so much snow at the end of February that the banks of the creek turned into snow cliffs.


3/11/2019   Promethea Moth cocoons on a small Wild Cherry tree




3/14/2019  High water in the creek


3/14/2019  More snow melt


3/18/2019  Another of the beaver gnawed trees




4/16/2019  This tree is still hanging on.  We keep expecting to find it down, but it’s still standing even now, in early 2020.


5/22/2019  Marsh Marigolds between the old and new driveways


6/22/2019  I found several more clumps of Wild Iris this year.  I collected and planted seeds for several years in the early 2000s, and the iris clumps are finally large enough that I can see them.


6/28/2019  This is a field that used to be almost all Wild Parsnip.  We mowed it for several years, and then I started pulling.  Now I pull whatever parsnip I find and there’s less every year.   This photo was taken before I’d pulled any parsnip this year.


7/16/2007   This is an old photo of the same parsnip field.


7/7/2019  Snowy Campion – I found it growing along the creek.   It’s considered a species of special concern in Wisconsin.


7/7/2019  The flowers of Snowy Campion hang facing the ground.


7/9/2019  The caterpillar of a Cattail Caterpillar Moth






7/11/2019  A very blurry photo of a Reakirt’s Blue – an uncommon stray in Wisconsin.  This is only the second time I’ve seen one here.


7/24/2019  This is a new field I discovered – one that I’d never explored before.  It’s got lots of sedges and common milkweed, but also lots of parsnip.  It’s below and across the creek from the old farmhouse.


7/24/2019  Common Milkweed and Wild Parsnip in the newly discovered field.


8/24/2019  This is a field where we’ve mowed and pulled parsnip for several years.  The dominant plant here is Reed Canary Grass.  We can’t get in with a sprayer, so we’re going to try planting it with sedges and aggressive native forbs, and mow it frequently, and see if we can improve its mix of plants.


8/24/2019   Canada Goldenrod and Ironweed


8/31/2019  Monarch on Tall Sunflower


8/31/2019   Giant Swallowtail on Joe Pye Weed


8/31/2019  This year Blue Lobelia, Swamp Betony and Common False Foxglove (Agalinis tenuifolia) grew in the wet shallow ditch along the driveway.  We held off mowing until they had all gone to seed.


8/31/2019  Common False Foxglove (Agalinis tenuifolia)


8/31/2019   Swamp Thistle


9/4/2019  Tall Sunflower




9/10/2019  This is the mowed path through the old parsnip meadow toward the old farmhouse.  There are lots of sedges here, mixed in with the Reed Canary Grass.  I’m hoping that by mowing, we can encourage the sedges, and discourage the RCG.


10/23/2019  The beavers were determined to build a dam in the culvert under our driveway.  It took about a week of removing every stick to convince them that it wasn’t a good place to build.


10/23-2019   Here’s the culvert after dam removal.


10/25/2019  Willow leaves with frost




12/20/2019   Planting the Reed Canary Grass field.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and only took a few hours.