Monthly Update – October 2019

A Prairie Welcome Sign (photo by Jay Johnson)

Greetings Friends of the Prairie,

It is the time when Woolly Bear caterpillars cross the path where the very little Redbelly snake is sunning and hawks migrate high overhead. And much else is happening on the Prairie as blossoming comes to an end. Plants, as long as they are green, continue packing energy into their roots for spring. Hibernators, like Ground Hogs and Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, are packing on fat while other furry critters, like Chipmunks, are storing food in burrows and Coyote and Fox are fashioning dens. Insects are laying eggs in stems, or migrating, or tucking themselves into bark crevices, like the adult Mourning Cloak butterfly. Pollinators are winding down their flurry of activity to get the last food of the season to pack with their eggs. All this activity, yet it is a relatively quiet time on the Prairie. A magic time. A time when the tall grasses wave in the wind almost like a “Sea of Grass” and spiders still have their welcome sign out!

Prairie Plant Walks with Kay have ended for this year but will resume next Spring. On the last walk of the season, September 28, many varieties of Asters, Goldenrods, and Grasses along with petite Lady Tresses orchids and the most splendidly blue Gentians were all on display.

Eight inch tall Lady Tresses orchid (photo by Pam Holy)

If you would like to be notified about plant scouting opportunities or plant identification walks, please email volunteer@chiwaukee.org.

Workdays

Looking west on 122nd Street toward railroad (photo by Pam Holy)

The most wonderful September workday volunteers removed truckloads of brush that was narrowing the 122nd trail. It was a rain shortened workday but not before everyone had a chance to view Gentians off the side of the trail.

You all did a terrific job! THANK YOU!

“Karen and the Giant Saw-Tooth Sunflower” (photo by Pam Holy)

Karen Kaplan wanted everyone to know that the Saw-Toothed Sunflower really can be over 7 feet tall. She was taking a break from loading brush into a truck during the last workday.

This Saturday, October 19, the weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies and temperature high of 61 degrees with a 10–20 mph SSW wind. We plan to continue clearing invasive brush in the areas we worked in the last two winters. Best to wear old clothes, sturdy shoes and dress in layers. We supply work gloves, tools, water, instruction and answers to all your questions about the Prairie.

The workday is from 10AM – 1PM. Come for part or all of it.

PLEASE NOTE:
We will meet at the Chiwaukee Cottage at 204 -102nd Street
Please park on the south side of 102nd Street.

Lunch at the Cottage after the workday for the volunteers!

(Map of the vicinity at www.chiwaukee.org/about/where/)

If you would like to be notified about additional workday opportunities, please email volunteer@chiwaukee.org.

Workday cancellations will be posted on our website and Facebook by 8 AM on scheduled workdays. If you are unsure whether a workday will take place, please use good judgment when deciding whether to attend.

If you have questions, email volunteer@chiwaukee.org or call 773-515-2772.

Thank you for your support,
Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund, Inc.