[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Big View Prairie page.]
This was a year of change for the Big View savannas. The top savanna, where our friend Todd did clearing work last year, has started to heal. Erik and Beth, from ‘Kule Region Forestry, have started clearing trees in the lower savanna, below the remnant bluff prairie.
I scattered seeds in the top savanna in the fall: Purple Joe Pye Weed, Showy Goldenrod, Elymus riparius.
3/22/2020 Just before Erik started cutting.
4/2/2020 Erik spent about a week cutting the small pines. These are all young volunteers that grew from seeds from the pine plantation that used to be below the savanna.
4/11/2020 My plan is to leave the large pine in the field on the left, and the group of large pines on the right, on the point. White Pines are native to the Driftless Area, and even if these trees weren’t here originally, they provide habitat for many native creatures.
5/4/2020 Top savanna showing one area where Todd cleared out small trees. I asked him to leave dead trees and elms (which are dying from Dutch Elm Disease).
5/4/2020 Another part of the top savanna
8/4/2020 Top savanna recovering. I spent some time here in mid-summer cutting and removing burdock and small weedy shrubs like buckthorn.
8/4/2020 Top savanna
11/12/2020 Late fall look at the top savanna. I planted a few kinds of seeds here this fall: Woodland Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum), Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa), Riverbank Rye (Elymus riparius).
12/24/2020 Savanna hillside just before Erik and Beth started work again
12/26/2020 Erik and Beth burning piles – most the pines that Erik cut last spring.
12/29/2020 Open ground where the pines used to be
12/26/2020 Big View Prairie on the left, Sumac Prairie on the right, with Center Valley between them