Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Animal, Mineral or Fungi?

What an interesting question to be asking. Well…I was inspired by this beautiful fungus with a horrible name…slime mold.

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Going “au naturale”

What is ecological restoration? Some define it as returning the land to pre-settlement conditions, which in Wisconsin is pre-1830. Some define it as unnecessary work because they believe that “nature knows best” and to just let “nature take its course.” If we are to preserve the biodiversity that remains on our planet, we need to expand our definition beyond these archaic and fantastical notions. Perhaps a better definition would be creating habitat that is useable and functional so that a diversity of biota are able to thrive. [Read more…]

Savanna Prairie Planting

Whew!! It’s been 2 years of preparing and planning but the last 12 acres were finally planted on Dec 13, 2014!! This is our third and last planting for the Driftless Prairies! We had hoped this one would go smoothly since the other two did not, but our record remained and we had plenty of stress! [Read more…]

Bio Blitz-ing

I attended my first insect bio blitz last Saturday (26 Jul 2014) at the Erickson Wetlands in Argyle, WI. The Driftless Area Land Conservancy (DALC) is responsible for this fabulous new land legacy which encompasses 220-acres of diverse habitat which contains multiple sloughs and oxbow lakes and over a mile of Pecatonica River frontage. [Read more…]

Treating Canada Goldenrod – Follow Up

We did a cut and treat method in the fall of 2013 after the Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) had bloomed. It appeared to be successful after a weeks when we could see the plants were dying but the real test was what would happen a year later. You can check out the original blog post. [Read more…]

Seeds of Discovery

Seeds are fabulous fascinating aspects of flowers. There are no two alike, even among similar genera. They vary in size, shape, color, transportation method, germination method, and the list can go on. They are an important life source for plants, birds, insects, and mammals. With such an important element, why don’t we know more about what the seeds of the Driftless Area look like? [Read more…]

Day of Insects 2014

Day of Insects is held at Reiman Gardens on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, IA. In the beginning it was an informal group gathering to discuss their current projects. This blossomed into an event that is open to the general public. Attendees include hobbyists, professionals, and academics. The mix of folks is impressive and makes it welcoming to everyone! [Read more…]

Spring Cleaning

As I was drinking my coffee, I noticed a pair of Eastern Bluebirds checking out one of the bluebird nest boxes near our house.  They’re back!!!  That means it’s time to get the Hess Bluebird Trail ready for the 2014 nesting season. [Read more…]

Signs of Concern or Not?

This picture was taken on February 19, 2014, the second day of 40ºF weather here in southern Wisconsin.  The picture shows a lot of dead bees and yellow spots in the snow where the bees pooped.  The question is should I be concerned or not? [Read more…]

Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an event that Jim and I look forward to each year. It’s part of our holiday tradition. This year it was cooooold!! The morning started with 6 degrees, which only increased 4 degrees by the time we finished that afternoon with wind chills of -5!!! [Read more…]