Tom's Blog

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photo points show 10 year progress

When we began restoration, ecologist Paul West advised us to take photo points at periodic intervals. This sounded like a good idea so I started doing this in the year 2000. Yesterday I was looking down from the edge of the Rocky Overlook and realized that this was one of my photo points so I took several other photos. Of course, the camera technology was completely different. In 2000 I was using a film camera, where yesterday's photos were taken with a digital one, but the formats were reasonably the same.

As the sequence above shows, we have made considerable progress in those ten years. In 2000 we had just finished clearing this part of the south-facing slope. Brush piles are visible, and cut stems of buckthorn and honeysuckle are present. There is a small prairie remnant just under the rocks (mainly big bluestem), but the rest of the slope is mostly weeds, except for a small patch of little bluestem in the lower middle. Several sumac clones are visible, reminding me that in those days we had not worried about this clonal invasive species yet.

The vegetation below Pleasant Valley Road was primarily smooth brome, as we did not plant that area until the fall of 2002 (now called the Valley Prairie).

Along Pleasant Valley Road is a long row of slippery elms, which were not removed until 2002.

It is nice to know we are making progress and that we have the photos to prove it!


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