Monday, October 26, 2009

Transition Point

I’ve been out checking some of the areas I want to work in this winter. One of those areas is a two acre pie shaped prairie that is lined by trees on the two long sides. I’ve done some clearing in most of the field and am working myself down toward the point. Out in the main part of the field, we have a nice stand of tall Indian Grass.

As the field narrows, less sunlight reaches the plants and the tall grass begins to disappear. Here we find some honeysuckle and fescue mixing into the stand. Mowing this area will help reduce the honeysuckle and increase the numbers of native plants.

Almost to the point and most of the grasses have disappeared. The yellow leaved ground cover is Agrimony and it really dominates here. Japanese Honeysuckle is increasing and Autumn Olive shrubs are coming in around the field border. I’ve spent the past two years clearing Multi-flora Rose from this area. At least now I can walk through it. I’ll be able to mow this and mark the shrubs for spraying in the spring.

I haven’t worked here at all yet. Rose canes are sprawling everywhere and are being woven into a mat by the honeysuckle vines. Blackberry canes stick up here and there to complete the arrangement. Working in a thorny thicket like this can be tricky. I’ve come out of these places looking like I’ve been wrestling with the cat. Those of you who’ve met our cat, know how bad that can be. I’ll definitely want to have several layers of clothes on when I tackle this mess, so I’ll have to wait for a really cold day in order to work here.

Finally we move into a more typical woodland. I plan to maintain this end of the field as a transition between grassland and woodland, but I want it to be a transition composed of native plants. It may be a few years before that goal is finally achieved.

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