Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day...It "IS" Important!

Its entering spring-time on the Tallgrass Prairie - 
celebrate Earth Day with a sense of careful consideration
for the legacy of life you are leaving to your children's children! 
photo © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

Tomorrow is Earth Day...every year on April 22 since 1970.  The earth day web site - gives a good overview of the history of this one day event each year.  It really started, not as a celebration, but as a cry for "consciousness" of what was amiss!  

I usually try to keep this blog on a high positive note - no one likes a downer.  But this day...this time in our planet's life, has entered a new phase environmentally and our collective interest in its well being (our well being!) is, in my opinion - muddied.  

Please use this day to reflect on how you see the bigger picture of our "Home's" health.  How can you better make wise decisions in your daily do your actions affect this Earth?  Do you read about environmental issues as they affect the Earth?  Do you read beyond issues in your own backyard?  Are you keeping in touch with those whom represent you in the local, state and national government?  Do you know how your political representatives are voting?  Please be aware. 

It isn't as easy as it should be to stay on top of what is happening with our "Home".  This requires a real effort on everyone's part.  Most really serious health issues for our planet are not in the quick 60 second spot on national television news.  If they are, they are usually simplified or glossed over, we are just not made truly "fully" aware.

I could go into many details of examples to illustrate what I mean but I don't want to tell people how to think - I would just ask that people really do think!  Read about the environmental issues, go to more than one news source, find out who is behind bad decisions that affect our planet's health; make them know how you feel about their decisions or bad behavior.  Take a real proactive position; write "letters", not just fast and easy e-mails, Likes or Tweets.  If you feel you can speak to an issue which is important to you - please do so!

Tomorrow is EARTH DAY.  Keep it (our Earth) and hold it tight as you would anyone you love.  It gives you life and will cradle your children's children, and theirs.  It is too important!

Please pay attention on this day and every day what is happening to your "Home", our Earth.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Activity Begins

Spring has been slow in coming this year here; it was only a week ago when we still had plenty of snow patches left around the place. But things are slowly changing!  

The pasture bordering our north pasture was burned last Saturday - the first time in "memory" here.  It'll be very interesting to see what transpires there over the spring and summer!

These two fire department volunteers were on "our" side of the fence as they wet down and push the fire away from the fence line.

We'll now do some planning on our pasture.  We usually try and only burn "sections" of our prairie pasture.  Keeping more diversity in the invertebrate population is very important.  We were a little less worried about the invertebrates in the past because we had this "buffer" to our north and west - now about 65-70% of that "buffer" pasture has been burned.  We'll be leaving at least 50% of our bordering prairie intact this year and only burn along our driveway and ditches if weather permits.  

The neighboring pasture was dense with thatch; hard to even walk through.  The ground was still damp and the bottom of much of the thatched growth didn't burn completely to the soil, so there may still be invertebrate survival on some stages.

But I think leaving a buffer on our side is a good idea.  I feel better by erroring on the safe side of things.

Most invertebrates are out-of-sight and out-of-mind...either too small to see, or just blend in to well; like insects such as this Katydid.
(click on the image for a larger view)

I've been reading a good deal on practices in managing is so much more complex that just burning, mowing or grazing.  What is in the thatch, the upper soil, deeper the plant stems, etc.  There is no "one treatment cures all" management tool, so we are mixing it up as much as we can with our if I could only get my hands on a couple Bison to help out too!

Hope to see you on the tallgrass this spring!