Prairie Burn | 12 April 2018

Our friends had a fire.

Our View From Iowa

Seventeen years ago, friends of ours moved from their in-town home to a 5 acre property several miles out of town. They built a beautiful prairie-style house and converted 4 acres of their alfalfa field front yard into a mixed prairie like it was 200 years ago. Native grasses, wildflowers, and trees were planted and a small pond was formed. The plantings grew well in the rich Iowa soil. Wildlife returned. Bird species grew in number. Kestrels nested in the box above the open space. Waterfowl visited the pond. They kept paths mowed to allow easy access to parts of the prairie visible in this satellite view.

Recent year Google Maps view. Pond lower left. House upper right.

Only one thing was missing from their prairie. They needed a fire. Much dry vegetation was on the ground built up from years of growth. Certain desirable native species were crowded out…

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2 thoughts on “Prairie Burn | 12 April 2018

  1. There a few areas west of town that burn every year but most farmers don’t do that anymore. Over time the weeds, sage grass, and small trees begin to take over. It is just strange how invasive species, like the Japanese Honeysuckle, have started to take over in areas where it wasn’t when I was a kid. I am not sure if the farm owners who own the land now don’t care, don’t have the time, or what the deal is. I have seen it happen right here on our farm and it was a bit overwhelming when I came back. GEEZ! I feel a post coming on! Thanks for sharing!

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