[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Knife Edge Prairie page.]
The most exciting thing to happen here this year was at the very beginning: on April 11 I found my first ever Pasqueflower blooming.
I’ve seen Pasqueflowers on some of our neighbors’ prairies, but I’d never found any on our land. So a few years ago I got permission to collect seeds on a nearby DNR property. I planted them in several of our remnant bluff prairies, and this year, for the first time, two plants bloomed – one here – on the point – and one on Hidden Oaks Point.
I did a lot of work here this year – cutting and treating brush in many different areas, both in the prairie and on the point. We didn’t do any spring mowing here this year.
5/15/2022 This shows some of the areas along the point that I had cleared last fall, starting to green up.
6/8/2022 Farther north along the point – more of the areas we cleared last fall.
6/8/2022 This is the area Mike worked on last fall – also along the point. It used to be a thicket of Prickly Ash with Woodland Sunflowers and other savanna plants struggling to grow underneath.
7/19/2022 The same area looking from the other direction, about a month later
The most overgrown brushy area we still have left in the prairie is at the north end just west of the path.
5/31/2022 I did a little work on it – cutting and treating brush – in early June but realized I should stop until the birds had finished nesting.
9/23/2022 Beginning again in August, I cut and treated most of the aspen and the brushy edge of that thicket. The middle is Tall/Canada Goldenrod mixed with a little brush that will have to wait for another year.
I worked on the steep west-facing slope of the point in late summer and fall.
7/19/2022 I’ve worked on the southern part of that slope – closest to the point – over the last few years. It’s quite open now, with not many weeds.
6/21/2022 There’s a large population of Spiked Lobelia on that steep slope
9/5/2022 But this is looking north, showing the brushy places I’m working to clear. Prairie plants grow under all of this.
9/11/2022 The brushy top edge next to the path – looking north
9/18/2022 More of the brushy edge of the path – looking south
9/20/2022 After I’d done some clearing
9/26/2022 After more clearing
10/13/2022 The last section I worked on was the middle of the flat prairie area where there was a thick growth of aspen sprouts and gray dogwood. I wanted to see which herbicide would be most effective at controlling gray dogwood, so I stretched a piece of pink tape down the middle of the thickest part and used milestone on one side and garlon on the other. This photo was taken before cutting.
10/13/2022 This was taken after cutting.
Later on I finished cutting and treating the aspens at the far end, near the edge of the trees. I also cut and treated all the other aspen sprouts I could find, in the whole flat prairie area. I’m hoping my new scheme – treating with milestone – will work well enough that they won’t grow back.
Here are a few more miscellaneous photos of the Knife Edge Prairie from this year…ones that didn’t fit in the project stories.
9/18/2022 Asters and Showy Goldenrod
9/19/2022 The view from the point – one morning when I got up to the top before the mist had left the valley.
10/3/2022 Main open part of the flat prairie area – after cutting and treating all the aspen sprouts.
10/11/2022 Fall view from the point
11/15/2022 Same scene with snow