No, I’m not talking about Jordan this time. We found this hatchling Black Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus) crawling around in the lowest part of the basement today. Enjoy!
The Missouri Prairie Foundation is dedicated to preserving prairies in Missouri. Our state’s prairies are on the eastern edge of the vast Great Plains of North America. Because they make some of the best land for row crops, temperate grasslands are one of the rarest ecosystems on the planet. Missouri is blessed with some stellar examples, partly because much of the land in the state is littered with rocks, making it unsuitable for cultivation.
Here, we’re attempting a controlled burn of MPF’s Coyne Prairie in Dade County, Missouri. As you can see, we got off to a good start. Unfortunately, it started to mist and then rain shortly after we started. Soon, the vegetation became too wet so that even a head fire couldn’t burn through. We saved the rest for another day.
Walnut trees are common on our farm, even invasive one might say. A particularly large one was unlucky enough to be caught dropping walnuts in our frog pond. It had to go because walnuts are poisonous to aquatic animals. So, we cut it down. It just so happens I have a friend with a sawmill and the facilities to process the wood.
In the course of a day, we lifted an entire walnut log, twice: once to load the cut boards on the trailer (above) and the pickup, and again to put them on a rack to dry (below).
This is the first post of several where I will explore invasive and non-native, or introduced, species. This is a big topic in the management of natural resources and the control of such species is a big part of the work we do at Pearl Creek Farm. Like any scientific topic, there is disagreement about these terms, what the concepts really mean, and how they apply in the real world. Naturally, I have my own opinions about them, but don’t take my word for it! Do your own research and ask your own questions.