Tom's Blog

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Another photo point sequence: south slope

In my last post I discussed the value in a restoration project of doing Photo Points. After a few years it is hard to remember what a particular site or management unit looked like before it was worked on.

The two photos in this post from Unit 6 were taken from the Rocky Overlook about 10 years apart. This viewpoint is a favorite spot and there is a Leopold Bench there now. The photo from 2000 was taken just after the major clearing on the south slope was done, but before any burning. The two photos show some interesting differences.

In the 2000 photo the small stand of big bluestem just below the rocks is visible, but there are only scattered prairie grasses below. By 2010, after 10 years of annual burns, the whole hillside is tallgrass prairie.

Some other changes can be seen farther down. Along the south side of Pleasant Valley Road in 2000 there was a large number of substantial trees. These were primarily slippery elm and were removed in 2001 just before we started work on the Valley Prairie. A small amount of the well established smooth brome stand in the Valley Prairie is visible below the trees. What is now the Valley Prairie was herbicided in 2002 during the summer before the November planting. The Valley Prairie itself is now well established and easily visible in the 2010 photo.

I spent some time today looking at really old photos from Pleasant Valley that were taken in 1981 and 1982. (We bought the first part of the property in 1980.) In those days I took mostly Kodochrome slides so I had to use magnification to view them.At that time the south-facing slope was fairly open even without brush cutting. I hope to scan a few of these for a later post.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home