Western Prairie – 2020

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

We don’t walk through this prairie very often – it’s a long walk, and now it’s more difficult to walk in a loop because of the washout along the Dugway that happened in 2016.

The prairie is getting a little shaggy with invading shrubs, but I haven’t gotten around to cutting many of them.  I cut buckthorns when I see them, or if the shrubs are close to the path.

We started one new project – working on the goldenrod field at the top of the Dugway – I’m calling it Dugway Meadow, but including it here, with Western Prairie.  The field has some natives, but it’s overgrown with Canada Goldenrod, Smooth Brome, Prickly Ash, and other ‘old field’ vegetation.   The whole field is several acres, but this year we just worked on a small section – probably less than an acre.  Mike mowed it in mid-summer.  Then, in November, I broadcast seeded it with a mix of prairie seeds.

6/3/2020  Looking south from the north end of Western Prairie










8/3/2020  Dugway Meadow before mowing.  The trees on the right are the edge of the woods that go down into Western Valley.  Western Prairie is to the left of the line of trees and brush on the left side of the photo.




10/10/2020  The north end of Western Prairie.  The valley coming up from the left is Volvo Meadow.




11/12/2020  Dugway Meadow seeding project


11/12/2020  The end of Dugway Meadow leading down into the Dugway path


11/12/2020  Dugway Meadow


11/12/2020  Dugway Meadow


11/12/2020  Dugway Meadow




12/20/2020  I was cutting some buckthorn shrubs in the prairie when I found this shrew, wedged into a fork of one of the buckthorns.  It’s a shrike kill – I’d never found one before.  I piled the cut shrub on top of a nearby pile – in hopes that the shrike would be able to find it again.