For this blog I'll let the pictures do the talking. I write about my farm a lot, so here are some more pictures. Enjoy!
CRP filter strip planted to little bluestem. This picture was taken four months after planting! What a stand.
A very successful rabbit hunt in 2006!
The "Broomsedge Field" in 2006. The dead trees in the picture are now full of blackberry briars. I disked around the dead trees for a few years to protect them from fire. The extra work was worth it!
Here's the "Broomsedge Field" in July 2009. Looks different. Notice how the blackberries have grown in the cut cedars. This field was a mix of broomsedge and fescue. We sprayed the fescue in 2003 and again in 2005. We overseeded the field with native wildflowers in January 2005. We didn't plant any native grasses since there was a decent stand of broomsedge. Since then, little bluestem and Indian grass have shown up.
Here's another picture of the "Broomsedge Field". Picture taken by Jean Stone. The red flower is Indian paintbrush. We burned this field in February 2009. Notice we didn't go back and burn the patches of grass that didn't burn. That's nesting cover close to brooding cover!
Lanceleaf coreopsis in full bloom. This field was a weedy fescue pasture that I sprayed with glyphosate four times to kill the grasses and weeds. I overseeded the field with a native grass and wildflower mix for glades. Picture taken by Jean Stone.
Another small glade on the farm. This picture was taken in 2003. The site has changed quite a bit. The walnut tree finally fell down this year. Must have been all the fire. Yes, I burned down a walnut tree.
False indigo I planted by seed in 2006. Not quite a covey headquarter but getting close. We also planted desmodium with the false indigo. The desmodium is very thick under the false indigo.
Shrub lespedeza I planted from seed in 2006. I'm not a big fan of shrub lespedeza--it's an exotic--but I wanted to see how well it would do compared to native shrub plantings. Not quite a covey headquarter yet.
Blackberry I planted from bare roots in 2006. We had a great stand of blackberries by 2008. Here's the covey headquarter in 2009. Should be some berries in a couple weeks.
Landscape picture of CP33 field border. You can see a few of the blackberry covey headquarters. There are actually four covey headquarters planted along the edge of the field, but only two have enough cover to show up in the picture.
Pretty easy to see where I strip disked last fall. There's no pattern to my disking. I just disk where the grass is the thickest.
Mr. Bobwhite whistling from the roof of the house. Picture taken by Sam Schnieders.
In August 2005 I planted some wild plum seeds to see if I could establish covey headquarters from seed. It worked! Here's a seedling in May 2006.
Here's the covey headquarter in June 2009. Many of the plums are already 4 to 5 feet tall.
A small blackberry briar that the birds planted in a cut cedar tree. I will likely protect this future covey headquarter from one more prescribed burn.
Here's a picture of our "unmanaged trails." Notice all the lespedeza in the trail. We'll touch up the trails (fire lines) before we burn. Also notice the big blackberry briar on the right. In 2005 this covey headquarter was no bigger than the one above. On the left is a food plot that winds around a covey headquarter of blackberry and downed cedars.
Spring 2009 turkey (number two). He didn't gobble until 11:30 a.m. He didn't show up until the last minute (12:58 p.m. to be exact).
Here's some poor to decent edge feathering I did in 2003. I should have cut deeper into the woods. That's exactly what we did in 2004. We regularly burn this hillside and the edge feathering. We've burned up most of the edge feathering, but there's still excellent shrubby cover. This hillside is better known as "rabbit hill".
A "dirty" corn food plot. This is a "succotash food plot" (glyphosate resistant corn and soybeans). I intentionally sprayed the plot in early May to avoid killing all the "weeds." The corn looks good with all the "weeds."
Here's a close-up. I might not get 200 bushels to the acre, but that's okay. Notice all the pigweed and foxtail (quail food).
Here's last year's corn food plot. Flip-Flop That Food Plot!
Here's a fine forage sorghum and milo food plot full of ragweed and annual lespedeza. I rarely spray food plots to control weeds. Seedy plants like ragweed, pigweed, croton and lespedeza are excellent quail foods.
Close-up of purple coneflower. Picture taken by Sam Schnieders.
I hope you enjoyed some pictures of my farm and the habitat work we have done.