False Indigo, June 2017

Rattlesnake Master June 2017

False Indigo, June 2017

Coreopsis tinctorum June 2017

False Indigo, June 2017

Bee Balm June 2017

Eastern Gamma Grass June 2017

Eastern Gamma Grass June 2017

March 8, 2016; Northern plot after burn.

March 8, 2016; Southern plot after burn.

Southern plot summer, two years ago..

Fall...last year.

March 8, 2016; Southern plot after burn.

 13 February 2016, pipeline right of way (north end).

  13 February 2016, same spot 2 minutes later.

13 February 2016, north plot.
13 February 2016, north plot.

 13 February 2016, north plot.

Sept. 20 2015
Sept. 20 2015

Sept. 20 2015

Sept. 20 2015

Big Bluestem, 9/9/2015
Big Bluestem, 9/9/2015

Sprangletop Sp. September 3, 2015

Partridge Pea. September 3, 2015

Coreopsis, or Sneezeweed (have to double check). September 3, 2015

Little Bluestem patch, August 26 2015 

Eastern Gamma Grass seed head, August 26 2015 

Coreopsis Sp.

Iron Weed Flowering, August 26 2015 

Sprangletop, August 26 2015 

Atop every Big Bluestem seedhead was this insect, could not find it anywhere else. No idea what it is. Do you? August 26 2015


First noticeable Blazing Star (no doubt from the prairie seedmix installed last winter). Yaaaay!

Blazing Star 26 August 2015

October 4th 2014 (will update this page soon with the plants list for the combined prairie plots)

Southern plot, lots of Annual Ragweed, and Verbena brasiliensis, earlier in the season lots of new forbs and small grasses appeared. I am hoping after we start conducting prescribed burns it will transform into  a more diverse plot. 

Middle plot on pipeline Right of Way. A little more diverse and wetter than the southern plot. Bushy Bluestem, and Little Bluestem noticeable.   
North plot is the wettest and tallest of the three plots thus far. Some dense stands of Witch Grass and Fall Panicum have popped up. Painted and Indigo Buntings have really been enjoying the insects and seeds provided by this plot.

After the start of the wetlands restoration work in some areas where I had re-cleared the tallow stands, there were a couple spots that were looking really fine as the grasses took over and got tall. Over a three year period it was very interesting to watch the succession of different forbs and grasses and was quite beautiful.  One goal I've had from the very beginning was to create as much ecological and biological diversity on the property as I possibly could, and by the number of critters I was seeing in the grassy areas.... a few permanent grass stands seemed like just what the doctor ordered. I checked with the agencies and everyone was onboard for a shift in the restoration plan that allowed a few of the non-wetland areas to be planted with native prairie grasses instead of trees like the rest of the property. Andy Dolan of US Fish and Wildlife was referred so I gave him a call. A site visit was conducted and together we located the sites that were most appropriate for a prairie restoration project. These are highlighted in yellow on the map below.

A few signed documents and year and a half later and I now have an official Louisiana Native Prairie Restoration Project on the land !
The plan of attack is to begin site prep on the three areas in the next few weeks (July 2013). This will consist of bush hogging the existing grass very low to the ground and then applying a herbicide treatment (probably multiple times) to kill off most of the existing veg. Yes.... this will kill the native plants already there but more importantly it will help me eradicate the noxious and invasive grasses that also occur, such as Johnson Grass and Vasey Grass. Then a series of disking and harrowing to get the ground ready for seeding. I must have all this done by mid to late September. In late September we will spread a mix of 70 to 150 native prairie grass species seeds on the ground (by hand) and harrow it in.....then wait...nature will do the rest! An annual prescribed burn and maybe some spot spraying will be necessary each year to keep out invasives and woody plants from taking it back over. I'm so excited I can hardly wait.
Of course I will post before and after photographs as the project progresses.

Southernmost proposed prairie plot: (This clearing was not for the prairie project ...just clearing to keep invasive trees out). First prairie project work will start in the next few weeks. This photo was spring of last year.

Summer ...last year.

Fall...last year.

The middle proposed prairie plot is an existing pipeline right of way. I had to make some special arrangements with the pipeline company to maintain this myself or else they would see the tall grass and mow or spray it every year....and they spray to KILL EVERYTHING!  The pipeline is on the left and large shallow pond is on the right. This photo was taken winter of last year.

This photo is of the pipeline right of way this year after I bushhogged it.

Northern most proposed prairie area...note the woody salt bush starting to creep the previous spring I mowed it so this is what it looked like after two growing seasons (left alone).

About a month ago I bushed hogged the northern most proposed prairie area...with the intent of keeping it manageable until I start the prairie restoration site prep.

July 27, 2013 Sprayed the first herbicide application in preparation for planting in late October.

 July 27, 2013 Sprayed the first herbicide application in preparation for planting in late October.

    Pipeline right of way exactly one month after the first herbicide treatment.           

July 27, 2013 Sprayed the first herbicide application in preparation for planting in late October.

August 31, 2013 Began disking the three sites (northernmost plot seen here) in preparation for planting in October/November.

  View of disked pipeline Right of Way  facing east on Sept. 14, 2013. Was disked on August 31,      2013.

View of disked pipeline Right of Way  facing west on Sept. 14, 2013.      

View of disked northernmost plot on Sept. 14, 2013. Was disked on August 31, 2013.

View of disked southernmost plot on Sept. 14, 2013. Was disked on August 31,  and again on 14 September  2013.

Northern plot November 16, 2013 , disked to kill back the rice sedge that carpeted the plots.  Right side of photo shows before ...left side after two passes.

Nov 16 northern plot.

November 16th north plot complete.

Nov. 16 middle plot before disking.

Nov 16 middle plot.
Nov 16 beginning to disc middle plot.

Almost done with middle plot.

The beast cooling down after 5 hours of disking.

Nov 16 middle plot done...ran out of daylight.
Northern plot November 30th 2013

Middle plot November 30th 2013.

 Middle plot complete, planted! January 18, 2014.

 Southern plot planted and complete.

Middle plot January 18, 2014.

Middle plot: January 18,  2014.

North Plot: January 18, 2014.

 This is what 3 acres worth of prairie seed looks like in case you were wondering.

The garbage back at the bottom of the pic is what I used to seed the northern plot.

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