04-04-13 Field Note

Block title

04-04-13 Field Note

April 5, 2013

Jeff Clarke's Field Note describes a perscribed burn, basin wild rye plantings, and a pheasant sighting.

PDF icon Download (3.61 MB)

Field Note 04-04-13 by Jeff Clarke

Over the past few weeks, the crew burned several planted forage grass fields in a controlled manner. The goal was to remove all the old biomass so herbicide applications can effectively remove the undesired live green grass.

To contain our prescribed fires, we burn a thick “black line” around the perimeter of the desired burn area. This process can be time consuming if the vegetation is thick and the wind is blustery. The pictured burn took seven people more than four hours to lay a black line. Once protected, the entire field burned in less than five minutes. One may say, “It’s like preparing a Thanksgiving feast and then devouring it all in seconds.”

When the burns conclude, we survey the perimeters for smoldering debris that could spark another fire.

We inspect the perimiter of the burn until the smoke clears.

A herd of mule deer inspects the fresh burns for greenery.

Canada geese find greenery in a burn conducted last month.

Eight foot tall piles of tumble weed cluster in the coves of Partridge Alley. This week we set them and their seeds on fire.

Beware: A dry pile of tumble weeds will create a large, HOT, fire!!!

This week a new fence (same as orchard fence) went up around the center pivot study plots. We will remove the less stable exclosure within when the new fence is complete. We also sprayed most of the weeds within the entire new exclosure. It should look much better next week!

We used extreme caution around the bitterbrush-nurse plant study.

Over the last two weeks the field crew and friends planted over 1000 potted poa secunda plants into the center pivot study area. We look forward to the results.

From now on, when you enter the ranch, the large wooden arch will not be the first thing you see. Instead, you see the beautiful landscape!

The field crew continues to work on another improvement project at the ranch’s entrance; we are planting a new field of basin wild rye grasses. So far, more than 500 plants have been transplanted to this site. When the project is complete, more than 1000 basin wild rye bunch grasses will wave at every guest that enters.

Hundreds of pheasants have been released on the ranch’s floodplain over the past few decades. Its only a few times a year that I see or hear sign that they still exist.

Recent Field Work • Prescribed Burn • Plant Poa Study • Spray Experimental Plots • Plant Ponderosa Pines • Transplant Basin to Entrance • Place Rock Barrier at Entrance • Burn Tumble Weeds

Previous Field Note

03-29-13 Bird Field Note