You Couldn't Ask For a Better Day in the Flint Hills
Beautiful fall weather makes visit to grasslands absolutely perfect
Published on: November 4, 2009
When the temperature hovers between 65 and 70, the skies are blue and the wind blows anything less than 25 mph, I always find a reason to go check on how the pastures are doing in the Flint Hills.
Today, they were doing great -- well relatively great. The native grasses have had a really good year with plenty of moisture though the cool temperatures have been kinder to a lot of their enemies than to the tallgrass prairie.
The event I attended today -- a Rangeland Management Demonstration that hauled out a powerful new weapon in the war against fast-growing woody brush species -- was a great opportunity to drive to the unpopulated and unvarnished prairie and really love a great day.
I have to admit my initial attraction was more about being in the middle of nowhere on a picture perfect day than about high-tech machinery, but I was really impressed by how fast the new back-hoe power saw being demonstrated can take down a full-size hedge tree. About four minutes by my clock for a 30-foot-tall, two-foot diameter hedge.
Maybe you have to have tried that with a chain saw to really appreciate it, but it was something to watch.
During the day, I got a chance to chat a bit with Greenwood County Extension agent Jeff Davidson who has been helping ranchers fight invasive species, especially serecia lespedesa, for a decade. He had a lot of interesting things to say about battling invasive species and I'll share more of those in December's magazine.