Swoope Almanac – Summer 2014: Tomatoes, Bobwhites and Middle River Flowing Like Chocolate Milk

I love the smell of hay…and putting it away for the winter.  It’s a good feeling; knowing all the winter feed for the cows is ready. Jeanne is now in the throws of bush hogging the pastures with her new fifteen foot wide “bat-wing” mower. We mow the pastures to cut the seed heads off […]

Swoope Almanac May 2014

May fills my senses as I walk our “river field”.  Life’s energy surges this time of year.   The avian migration is at its peak.  All the birds that want to be here have arrived except for the Dickcissels.  They will arrive when the peonies and day lilies open. The cool nights and warm days […]

Swoope Almanac: October 2013: Quail Release on the Farm

  “Just because the problem seems unsolvable doesn’t give us the right to give up”.   I can’t remember who wrote that but it sticks in my mind.  And just like the people trying to find that one blight resistant American Chestnut tree, Bobwhite Quail lovers keep hoping that maybe someday one mating pair from […]

Riparian Plant Feature – False Indigo Bush

False Indigo Bush, Amorpha fruticosa This native, leguminous shrub is one of the best riparian plants for creating wildlife habitat and improving water quality.  It is fast growing and deer don’t like to eat it, so if you want success in your shrub or wildlife plantings this is a winner.  We planted two year old […]

Prescribed Fire Suppression of Succession

A “backfire” is a slow burn This is a prescribed fire manager’s drean.  See the smoke moving off to the right?  The fire is actually burning to the left, into the wind and into the only fuel left to burn.  The flames are low because we prepared the site by mowing the fuel (native grasses/prairie) […]