Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

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…]

Frogcicles

As the thermometer suddenly dipped low this week to single digits and below-zero temps, my thoughts go to the critters outside and how they are surviving and dealing with this cold.  Most recently, I’ve been thinking of and reading about amphibians. [Read more…]

Collecting and Cleaning Seeds

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only is the weather cooling off and the trees are turning into beautiful, vibrant, autumn colors, it’s seed collecting time!!! I love, love, love seed collecting. There’s something purifying and cathartic about the process; maybe it’s in knowing that I’m spreading the “prairie love” by gathering some of the fruits of previous restoration efforts and giving them life in new restoration efforts. Maybe it’s because seed collecting is quiet work, unlike the summer of chain sawing and brush cutting. Whatever the case, it’s rewarding and gratifying work. [Read more…]

Effective Treatment Method for Canada Goldenrod

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) is a native to Wisconsin but isn’t considered a highly prized prairie plant. Its Coefficient of Conservatism is a 1; making it, essentially a glorified weed. [Read more…]