Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winter Field Mowing

Mowing this field took me most of the winter. With all of the snow, ice and rain we had, there were very few occasions of good weather suitable for mowing. This field was mowed last year and all of the woody sprouts were marked. I was able to successfully spray the early developing Multiflora Roses, but a late freeze killed the top growth on later developing woody plants and there was nothing left to spray. This is what the field looked like in early December.

I still had this much to do two months later. It seemed that just running JR out of the barn would trigger some type of storm that put a halt to my work. When I look back over my management records, the years showing the most accomplishments are the years with the nicest weather.

The job is finally done. The final rounds were made with me enjoying mild temperatures and bright sunshine. My previous spraying of the roses was successful. I only found one rose bush in the field needing sprayed this year.

There were a couple of small patches of Multiflora Rose growing outside the field boundary. I took the opportunity to eliminate those little patches while I was working.

I made sure to get fully out to the edge of the field. I’m attempting to create some of the partially shaded conditions found around the older prairie openings. There seems to be a suite of rare plants that prefer that type of condition and I’m hoping to expand the range of those plants.

This site is destined to become a link to a field about 50 feet away. I’m hoping that links such as this will encourage movement of plants and animals between the isolated prairie patches.

One corner of the field has been given over to Redbuds. Redbud is the host plant of the Henry’s Elfin Butterfly, an uncommon species found at Blue Jay Barrens. About 20 years ago, a three day period of lows near minus 30 degrees killed the top growth of most of the Redbuds. The Henry Elfin population became almost non-existent. Since that time, I’ve encouraged several patches of Redbud to grow around the property. Henry’s Elfin numbers are now better than ever. It won’t be long before the 2011 generation emerges and takes to the air.


  1. The Redbuds would take over the world if we let them.

  2. Hi Steve...I happy to hear that JR is still on the job and doing well.
    You sure have a lot to keep up with there, since your a one man show!!
    : }}

  3. Lois - It would be nice if they would displace the Bush Honeysuckle.

    grammie g - JR is always eager to head for the field.