Jun 19

June 16, 2015 Is the Rain Over?

Posted: under Activities, Land, photography, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , ,  June 19th, 2016

The rain stopped a week ago; the winter grasses are brown or browning, the early wildflowers have gone to seed.  But soil moisture is still good. The tallgrasses (switchgrass, Eastern gama, Indiangrass, big bluestem) are doing very well (switchgrass in the secondary drainage is taller than we are.)   There’s an area in the east grass we call “The Bowl” because it’s a roundish area that seeps in wet weather as it slopes down to the old drainage line.  It stays green longer.  When we got the place, it was covered with broomweed (non-native), bare under the broomweed with a few scattered grass plants, not doing well because of the chemical defense of the broomweek.  Today it looks like this:

You can see the upslope edge (pale beige of dry grass)
Every different shade of green, every native plant, reveals something about the soil where it is.

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Mar 18

Climate Change & Planning

Posted: under Climate Change, Plantlife, Water.
Tags: , ,  March 18th, 2013

I mentioned on Twitter that more trees had failed to leaf out this spring, victims of the long drought which not only did not provide them enough water to survive, but prevented us from having any supplemental water to give them.   Someone suggested what seemed reasonable–why not plant trees from the next climate zone (or two) to the south of us.    I realized then that the traditional “planting zone/climate zone” concept had taken hold to such an extent that the complexity of keeping anything alive through a rapid change of climate wasn’t being talked about.

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Feb 10

The Land Is Leaking (and Blooming)

Posted: under Land, Plantlife, Water.
Tags: , , ,  February 10th, 2010


The upstream part of the dry woods swale, with water seeping through the grass on both sides.   This area produces the best water quality, as most of the water has seeped through both rock and soil. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 05

First Anemone

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Water.
Tags: , , , ,  February 5th, 2010


At the end an hour slogging around a very wet, running-water-wet field as the sun gets low, you might wonder why you didn’t go back before now.  Then you look down and there it is…the first one this spring.  The sheer audacity of it–that determined stem, those leaves reaching for sunlight, and then that fragile, pale pink flower.

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Dec 27

Midwinter Walk

Posted: under Activities, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , ,  December 27th, 2009

We had clear dry weather today to get some work done, and no choir duties.   Our first chore was moving water iris taken from the lily pond (which had overgrown with them) out onto the land, to see if they’ll naturalize in some of the temporary pools.  We were successful with a few transplants a few years back.

floating-iris-pond063 Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec 10


Posted: under Activities, Water, Weather.
Tags: , ,  December 10th, 2009

Every day brings changes to the land–the seasonal changes being among the most obvious–but from year to year we see changes–both desired and undesired–as a result of what we, our neighbors, and the weather do.

eastern-gama-flowers368 Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov 29

Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

Posted: under photography, Weather.
Tags: , , , ,  November 29th, 2009

We had gorgeous weather for Thanksgiving, and an out-of-state guest who enjoyed a moderately long stroll around the place.  We weren’t in rubber boots, so we couldn’t cross the creek or wander as freely, but still a fun hour or so out wandering.

Saturday, in not-as-perfect (but still pleasant) weather I made it across the creek in regular shoes–not exactly dry-shod, but not too wet-footed.   I did put three knapsacks of rocks from the rockpile near the creek onto the ford, which has migrated a bit with the flash floods this fall.  Water quality looked great, clear, spring-fed, and flowing strongly.   This view is upstream from the ford (shown in previous post); the braced fencepost to the right, on grass, shows the north fenceline where it crosses the creek…there’s a mess of flotsam caught on the water gap.

creek-upstream-north341 Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 30

Gorgeous Day

Posted: under Activities, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , ,  October 30th, 2009

Instead of raining yesterday as the front came through, the sky slowly cleared from the west,  and today dawned chilly and clear.  While Richard worked on fence, I put on rubber boots and went out to see if anything’s drying out yet.


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Oct 27

Wildlife in the Wet

Posted: under photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , ,  October 27th, 2009

After the additional three inches of rain yesterday, the saturated ground is leaking water down every slope, making the grassland look like a marsh, or at least the margins of a marsh.

dry-woods-swale178 Read the rest of this entry »

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