Prairie restorations look messy and “weedy”. We’ve heard second-hand comments from people that some neighbors and other passersby think we’re lazy or don’t care what our place looks like. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and I think our place is wonderfully beautiful! At the same time, I think manicured looks, well, unnatural.
Furthermore, the county comes by at least 2-3 times per summer mowing a wide path along each side of the road. Normally, this is fine as it’s better for visibility. However, it gives the non-natives an advantage over the native prairie plants. Thus, I put up signs to ask the mowers to not mow in front of the house. So far, they are more than happy to oblige.
To help everyone understand what we’re doing, signs are helpful and I’ve had some up for a few years. This Christmas, my folks got some signs made for the place. They are awesome! Thanks!
This is a poor photo, but it shows something Julian and I saw a couple of weeks ago. Four large gobblers wandered through the creek bottoms directly across from our house. We were sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. What a great treat!
This morning, I was outside checking the rain gauge and I saw a flock of cedar waxwings eating persimmons from a tree near the house. That’s a nice way to start the morning! It’s also a new bird species for the species list.
After digging through notes, field notebooks, field guides, and the furthest recesses of our memories, we’ve compiled a vascular plant species list for Pearl Creek Farm. So far, we have 221 species listed, which is not bad for 10 acres. I’ve marked several with codes indicating their native status and whether or not we “imported” them as part of one of our restorations. As you can see, we have some identification work to do on some of the plants here.
With the help of John Atwood at the Missouri Botanical Garden, I’ve also compiled a list of 16 bryophytes for the farm.
I love data. It turns out there’s a lot to track around the farm and I keep a variety of databases to do the heavy lifting for me. My database of choice is PostgreSQL, a poster child for open source software, which probably means nothing unless you’re a geek like me. This post is the first in a series that shows the various ways that we do science at Pearl Creek Farm!