Thursday, April 11, 2013

5. Restoring Bottomland Prairie 5: Yellowlegs in the Wetland!!

From left:  Al Alspach (Master Landscape)
and Greg Kramos (Fish & Wildlife)

In March, Greg Kramos of Fish & Wildlife and Al Alspach of Master Landscape (on the left) devised a plan to use the natural drainage in the Creek Field to create an intermittent wetland.    After Al used his trusty blue tractor to form several dikes, there were two small snowfalls that melted into the field.   Then on April 9, 2013 we had an inch of rain, and two days later the hoped-for-wetland was still holding water.    And hosting visitors!

A Greater Yellowlegs forages in the newly-created wetland.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

4. Restoring Bottomland Prairie 4 : The Creekfield Is Planted! Species list below.

March 30, 2013:  Al & his trusty John Deere tractor & Great Plains
Native Plants Seeder plant the upslope part of the Creek Field.
The Creek Field is planted!
The downslope half was planted March 20-21, 2013, with seed from Star Seed in Osborne, Kansas.  A snowstorm intervened, so the upslope half was not planted until March 30, 2013, with seed from Feyh Farm, in Alma, Kansas.   In addition, Margy hand-planted seeds that were hand-collected locally by Jeff Hansen, of Kansas Native Plants.   All of the species planted were originally present in bottomland prairie.   But the big Kansas native seed dealers get their forb seed from nurseries all over the country--Oregon, Illinois, Georgia--so it's important to have at least a few seeds that originated right here in the Flint Hills.    Each mix is made up of forbs but, on the recommendation of a prairie expert, contains one grass, in order to prevent annual weeds from claiming too many niches.  Here is a list of species planted:

Mix #2 (downslope)
These species were seeded on March 20-21, 2013:
Asclepias syriaca                     Common Milkweed
Astragalus Canadensis          Canada Milkvetch
Bidens aristosa                        Showy Beggar Ticks
Coreopsis tinctoria                  Plains Coreopsis
Desmanthus illinoensis           Illinois Bundleflower
Dracopsis amplexicaulis         Clasping Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea                Purple Coneflower
Gaillardia pulchella                 Indian Blanket
Helianthus grosseserratus      Saw-toothed Sunflower
Helianthus tuberosus              Jerusalem Artichoke
Monarda fistulosa                   Mint-leaf Bee Balm
Penstemon grandiflorus         Large Beardtongue
Physostegia virginiana            Obedient Plant
Silphium integrifolium             Rosinweed
Trandescantia ohioensis         Ohio Spiderwort
Verbena hastata                      Blue Vervain
Zizia aurea                                Golden Alexanders

 Tripsacum dactyloides            Eastern Gammagrass

Mix #1 (upslope)
These species were seeded on March 30, 2013:
Astragalus Canadensis           Canada Milkvetch
Coreopsis tincctoria                Plains Coreopsis
Dalea   candida                       White Prairie Clover
Dalea purpurea                       Purple Prairie Clover
Demanthus illinoensis            Illinois Bundleflower
Echinacea purpurea               Purple Coneflower
Gaillardia pulchella                Indian Blanket
Helianthus grosseratus          Saw-toothed Sunflower
Liatris punctata                       Dotted Gayfeather
Monarda fistulosa                  Mint-leaf Bee Balm
Penstemon digitalis                Fox-glove Penstemon
Physotegia virginiana            Obedient Plant
Ratibida pinnata                    Gray-headed Coneflower
Silphium integrifolium           Rosinweed
Trandescantia ohioensis       Ohio Spiderwort
Zizia aurea                               Golden Alexanders

Elymus Canadensis                  Canada Wild Rye

Hand-picked seed acquired from Jeff Hansen, Kansas Native Plants, planted March 17-April 2, 2013, with the exception of Asclepias tuberosa and Amorpha fruticosa, seeds picked by Margy elsewhere on Bird Runner:

Agastache nepetoides           Yellow Giant Hyssop
Amorpha fruticosa                  False Indigo
Asclepias incarnata                 Swamp Milkweed
Asclepias sullivanti                  Sullivant’s Milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa                  Butterfly Milkweed
Bidens polylepsis                     Bur Marigold
Cassia marilandica                  Maryland Senna
Helenium autumnale              Sneezeweed
Heliopsis helianthus                False Sunflower(helianthoides)
Liatris pycnostachya               Thickspike Gayfeather
Lobelia cardinalis                    Cardinal Flower

Species sought but not found for seeding this spring:

Glycyrrhiza lepidota                Wild Licorice

Pycnanthemum tenuifolium   Slender-leaved Mountain Mint

Symphiotricum lanceolatum  Panicled Aster