Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tundra Swans

131117.TundraSwans.BrownsvilleMNCROP

Tundra Swans on Mississippi River pools, near Brownsville, MN.  (click to view photo-stitch then click again to view at 100%)

A brief visit, chased by freezing winter. Driven by a pursuit of food, open water, and protection. Over 20,000+ Tundra Swans rest in these pools, refuel on tubers, then continue the migration to Chesapeake Bay. A reassuring legacy that sacred routines manage to exist on an increasingly imbalanced and fragmented planet.

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Townline Road Summary 2013

DSB_0694Red cordage marks my west seeding boundary

The Townline Road property is located two miles SE of Leaf River Illinois. Consisting of a dry-mesic  limestone hill with wet-mesic oak savanna remnant at the base, the property was inherited by my mother and totals 40 acres. This property has been in continual grazing for at least fifty years. Due to family pressures the property will most likely be grazed for at least another 2-3 years.

My knowledge in identifying native plants only truly blossomed around May of this year (2013), though I expect next year to provide more extensive results. Some species recorded despite the overgrazing include: Ranunculus fascicularis, Bouteloua curtipendula, Verbena Stricta, Geranium maculatum and Helenium autumnale.

This PDF is my initial planting list (PDF – 2013.SeedCollection). The number of species is modest, though next year will be more successful as I plan on making a special effort to search for plants more frequently. With the exception of Amorpha canescens (within ten miles) all species planted were found within five miles of the site, most were found within one mile.

For 2013 my primary goals were two-fold. First, I set to work building a 100 x 100′ exclosure in the oak savanna. My main intent was to protect the aging oaks while allowing existing plants to grow unimpeded by grazing. Second, I established an 80 x 100′ exclosure along the top slope where some native plants had already been found. I seeded this exclosure (PDF – 2013.SeedCollection) and plan to utilize the area as a nursery for future seeding and expansion.

Inevitably I wish I could have collected more seed, built more fence and recorded more species, though for a first year project I am pleased with the progress so far.

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