Category Archives: Life Science

Fly Over Country

Our bird populations have seasonal rounds. Most of the songbirds like robins and meadowlarks have left. Now the main birds that we see are either passing through or are the ones that stay around all winter. Bald eagles stay year … Continue reading

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Nature Will Not Be Denied

This time of year, plants and animals seem to loosen their grip on the Farm. Corn and soybeans have been harvested, cattle have been moved off the pasture paddocks, leaves have fallen off the trees, and grass is brown. But, … Continue reading

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Conservation Crowdsourced

Back in the 1940s the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) was called the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) and as a young beginning farmer my dad was using that as an information source. For example, we’ve got … Continue reading

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Place-Based Stacked Experiences

That’s a weird title! It’s trying to communicate that some places seem to host multiple experiences that don’t seem to be related. But, sometimes these “coincidences” have a common thread, other than sharing a specific location. This picture taken in … Continue reading

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Battling Brome

Prairie restoration programs often involve attempts to eradicate or at least limit smooth brome. This invasive, non-native, cool season grass is a vigorous sod-maker that usually expands to turn a pasture into essentially a monoculture. I understand why the restoration … Continue reading

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Extraction, Restoration, or Regenerative Agriculture

We’re glad that we live in a neighborhood of diversified farming operations. Naturally, the Kanaranzi Creek valley dictates that grazing and livestock are one way for the pastures to pay their way. The corn and beans on the surrounding uplands … Continue reading

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Tracing Native Prairie

Big bluestem, aka turkey foot, is a warm season grass that’s pretty easy to identify in a native prairie. That’s because it ripens to a distinctive purple-red color this time of year. And, the top has a shape like a … Continue reading

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Mother Trees on the Prairie

There’s a growing body of scientific evidence that trees share information, warning their neighbors about danger and nurturing nearby small trees. If you Google “trees communicating” you can get some notion of the traction that this idea is getting. Trees … Continue reading

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Oxbow Mystery

OXBOW MYSTERY When a channel cuts through the steep bank in a meander loop there’s a distinctive landform produced called an “oxbow”. This blog has a number of posts describing our oxbow because it’s a cool complex of unique small … Continue reading

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Weeds and Feed: Learning from a Prairie Hill

About ten years ago, a part of a west-facing hill was fenced off (“exclusion”) from the rest of the pasture because it had a remnant prairie with lots of native plants. This year the exclusion was added back into the … Continue reading

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