Saturday AND Sunday for Birdwalk

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting


We’ve decided to offer the PGT Birdwalk on both Saturday and Sunday (April 30th and May 1st). We added Sunday because there is a high probability of rain on Saturday morning.

Both bird walks will start at the PGT Visitor Center at 7AM.
The walks are free and open to the public.
If you plan to attend please email Lorna: lorna@prairiegardentrust.org

There are lots of great new birds that have just arrived! For example we are certain to get good looks at the Indigo Bunting (that’s the bird in the picture)
I hope you can attend the walk!

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Magic Light

Dawn Fog in the PGT Woods

Dawn Fog in the PGT Woods


Last Saturday there was a light fog here at dawn at the Prairie Garden Trust. Fog can do magical things with light!

Even though Jack Dodson was out shooting landscape videos with his drone I couldn’t keep from taking some still images. Here is one from that morning taken along the sidewalk just east of the PGT Visitor Center.

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Enjoying Spring!

Kevin-Sink-taking-pictures_5496It’s been a lot of fun having Kevin Sink visit the past few days. The weather has been perfect so we’re spending several hours outside every day. Here he is taking a Flowering Dogwood picture at Lichen Bluff.

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New Birds!

Blue-winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler


Four new migrants came in with the rain last night:
Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Blue-winged Warbler (see attached)
Worm-eating Warbler

All four of them nest here at the PGT.

On my morning walk today I identified 48 different kinds of birds. The leaves are just emerging on the hardwoods giving the forest a “green haze”. It’s a magical time of year!

Please join us for the PGT Birdwalk on Saturday April 30th.
There should be many more birds by then.

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Dogwood Forest

The flowering dogwoods are going to be in peak bloom this week. Here is a picture from this morning. It was taken in the South 40 woods which is about a ten minute walk from the visitor center.

Flowering Dogwood Forest

Flowering Dogwood Forest

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Preventing Tick Bites

Tick Treatment_1768
Today was “Tick Treatment” Day at the PGT. Every year in early spring I dip all of our outdoor clothing in permethrin to prevent tick and chigger bites. I prefer this to using insect repellants like DEET which is found in OFF because it doesn’t smell as bad and it seems to be more effective. Another plus is that treatment with permethrin lasts all year. With OFF you have to remember to apply if every day.

My Recipe:
1. In a large barrel mix ¼ cup of Permethrin (38.4% concentration) in about 10 gallons of water.
2. Dip pants, shirts and socks until they are wet with the mix.
3. Pick up the dripping wet clothing and drape them over outdoor furniture to dry (like in the picture here).
The Permethrin that I use came from an agricultural store and was sold as Pounce 3.2EC Insecticide.

I’ve tried other kinds of repellants like powered sulfur and Avon Skin-So-Soft but they did not work well for me.

Another very helpful technique is to always wear long pants and tuck the pants into your boots.

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Rookery Overlook

Rookery Overlook

Rookery Overlook


This new shelter looking over Hiller’s Creek was finished yesterday. It is an easy 15-minute walk from the PGT Visitor Center. With the shade from the roof and a comfortable bench it should be a great place for a picnic lunch. Across the creek is the Great Blue Heron rookery.

Please come check it out. The PGT opened for the season this week so we are welcoming visitors. Please email us or call before you com

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PGT a Birding Hotspot

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera


Birdwatching Magazine calls the Prairie Garden Trust a “Birding Hotspot”. Take a look at the this link or if you have a copy of the April 2016 magazine go to page 47.

Birdwatching is my favorite birding magazine. Not only does it have great photography but in each issue they have useful articles by experts like Kenn Kaufman and David Allen Sibley.

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50-acres on fire!

Prairie-Burn_2295
Today we burned 50-acres along the northern edge of the Prairie Garden Trust (PGT). Matt spent several days preparing for the burn and had a crew of 7-people to help control it.

Controlled burns are a an important part of our land management. With 3-decades of experience we’ve learned a lot. One painful lesson is that small trees like dogwoods are destroyed by burns. Even fire tolerant trees like Bur Oaks need to be protected until from the flames until they get big.

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Lotus Pod

American Lotus Seed Pod, Nelumbo lutea

American Lotus Seed Pod, Nelumbo lutea


All parts of the American Lotus are interesting to explore photographically. Everything from the leaves to the flowers and even the seed pods. I just stumbled across this picture from 12-years ago and decided to work it up.

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