August 14, 2007 – Improving a Little Corner of the Farm

A year ago this spring we seeded some native plants in an ugly part of the farm that was essentially a mudhole.  The low spot collected runoff from rains on the adjacent fields and would be under water for a few days a year.  The cows liked it as well and continued to break off the sod around its edges to increase its size.  To see what it looked like them see the blog entry from March 28, 2005.  Last year, it was fenced off and at least grew a nice cover of weeds.  In the middle of this summer, we started finding some non-weed plants that must have been part of what we planted!

There is swamp milkweed – in this shot with both a monarch and some ferocious-looking black killer fly (looks like a beneficial predatory insect to me!)

On the very edge is a black-eyed susan.

Then there’s this plant that I haven’t yet identified.  Ideas?  At any rate, it is full of small fluttering critters as well.  In addition to these, we noticed some prairie cordgrass and sedges.  The area is still mostly weeds, but may be turning the corner and the natives are a magnet for many insects.  It is heartening to see it go from a sterile mudhole (growing by the year) to a more natural place, adding a bit more diversity to the place.

one year ago…