Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Rising of the Bones

On Monday afternoon the structural steel arrived and early Tuesday morning the crew was busy on the site. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent unloading the steel and welding pieces in place in preparation for construction.





On Thursday the big Genie Telescopic Telehandler was unloaded and construction began.





The first steel column was standing by about 10 AM on Thursday


Soon there were four.



 Then by late afternoon on Thursday, the main rafters were welded to the columns on the bedroom end of the building.





By quitting time on Thursday the outline of the structure on the bedroom end was done. It was fun to get an exact idea of the size and shape of the building for the first time.





Friday went much faster. Four more columns and their main rafters were up by noon. Then more purlins were welded in place. Next week, perhaps we'll see some skin on the bones.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Some Are Leaping!

When we were first planning the prairied restoration, we were cautioned to have patience. Grasses don't grow like vegetables in a garden. It takes time. One wildlife biologist explained that the first year after they germinate, they use their energy to put down deep roots. "They go deep," she said. The second year the plant grows larger and puts on leaves. "They creep," she explained. About the third year the "tall grasses" earn their name. "They leap," she told us.

We planted our grasses from seed twenty-one months ago. Thousands germinated and we could see those little tufts of grass on top of the ground that were working hard to extend their roots deep into the sandy loam of our field. Many will grow twice as far underground as they appear above the ground. We witnessed a lot of creeping going on this year. The plants were more extensive and more noticeable.

Most of the grasses still have a way to go, but a good number of them have started leaping. We have Alamo Switchgrass that is taller than I am growing near the house, and the seed heads are more massive than my head. Little Bluestem, Big Bluestem, and Yellow Indiangrass are flourishing, blooming, and forming beautiful seed heads as well. Eastern gamagrass, Sideoats grama, Purple Lovegrass, and Green Spangletop are leaping as well in many places. This is the time of year when these warm-weather grasses do best. A walk in the prairie this morning produced some evidence of all the leaping taking place.

Maximillian Sunflowers and Green Spangletop


Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem

"Turkey Foot" bloom of Big Bluestem

Big Bluestem

Big Bluestem
Yellow Indiangrass

Yellow Indiangrass
Yellow Indiangrass

Yellow Indiangrass
Sideoats Grama

Sideoats Grama
Alamo Switchgrass

Alamo Switchgrass
Alamo Switchgrass

Little Bluestem



Thursday, September 17, 2020