Monday, October 26, 2009

Mesquite Treatment Monitoring in Lesser Prarie Chicken Habitat

Mesquite has invaded large areas of warm semi-arid grassland, possibly due to a combination of land use and climate change. Fenceline contrasts usually indicate selective growth is due to land use; in the case below the field on the right is grazed while that on the left is a Conservation Reserve former farm field.
From Milnesand, NM
The mesquite has been sprayed with a selective herbicide in order to increase forage access for cows. Our goal was to monitor the vegetation changes associated with mesquite die-off. I also observed that mesquite and other shrubs clearly stabalize more eolian transport than do grasses.

Yvonne: "looks like pretty good kill to me. I don't know what he's complaining about. You never get 100% -- not in nature"
Rancher: "never seen it this green this time of year before"


lark buntings dance from mesquite to mesquite
trilling as they fly: pipsqeek joy
horsecrippler cactus
we dug and boxed for home

From Milnesand, NM
two Great Blue Herons flap-float overhead
bringing/bearing profound stillness
tarantulas still crossing road
honk/gurgle of sandhill cranes float out
of clear blue sky

From Milnesand, NM

Damn scorpions - one just crawled under fridge
pocket gopher diggings everywhere!
Panicum obtusum, virgatum
spider webs shimmer parachute? balloon?
Look! a tiny spider clutching the tiptop of a tiny Buchloe grass
it flies away, and for a moment; Pure Magic

From Milnesand, NM
12:30 2 groups of 3 and 4 cranes, circling overhead
another group of 2 joins them
we hear them long after they are lost in sky
their presence gives it dimension, then dimensionless

From Milnesand, NM

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