St Croix River Road Ramblings

Welcome to River Road Ramblings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Walk on the Wild Side

As the first day of Fall approaches on the 23rd of September, took a walk to the pond on the Farm.  Still mostly green with the first frost still another week or two away and only hints of fall color.  
You can join me on the walk with the photos here. 
Grape vines are bereft of grapes this year as they blanket the old corn crib

Possibly up to 200 bushels per acre for corn this year with almost ideal growing conditions.  Of course the price is about 1/2 of 3 years ago.  

A row of Siberian crap apples that I ordered from Gurneys as windbreak trees and planted the summer of 1970 highlighted with some woodbine red climbing vines

I kept a narrow path through the corn field from yard to pond.  The deer use this to come to eat apples and then return to sleep and get a drink

The pond is full and the deep grass, goldenrod, milkweeds, etc., make a wildlife oasis in the midst of corn fields. 

Fall asters of varying shades of purple are in full bloom as is the goldenrod

A few months ago, I made a jackpine log turtle sunning raft to float on Dub Lake (our pond name after Dad's nick name -- Dub).  The turtles have found it and on brisk fall days warm up as they discuss the upcoming winter and where in the mud below they plan to hibernate.

Arrowhead plants, a favorite of ducks, line the shores.  Very few Vees of geese or flocks of ducks so far this fall.  Probably too mild to spur them to think about going south.  

The ravine that drains Bass Lake snakes through the farm providing a wildlife corridor that extends all the way to the St Croix River following Bass Lake Creek to Wolf Creek. 

The south bank of the ravine.  At one time huge beaver dams spanned the 50 foot wide ravine changing the wetland that straddles Evergreen Avenue from cattail swamp into pond.  Later it was a cranberry marsh with water level regulated in the ravine

The 1970 planting of Siberian crabs was reseeded along the fencelines by robins carrying the seeds and now here and there are trees that will be picked clean by the fall robin migration in October.  Not a robin around here for the last month or so, but soon they will sweep through eating the berries on jack-in-the pulpits and apples.  What they leave, they will pick in the spring on their return. 

The corn ears are 5 feet off the ground or more.  The stalks are 8 foot.  Probably the best corn ever to grow on the farm since it was wrested out of woods in the 1860s-1880s.  

The big cattail swamp that straddles Evergreen Avenue.  No openings in it--just solid growth including short willow brush.  

Looking mostly east over Evergreen Avenue on the hillside I mowed off to plant a pumpkin and squash garden next year.