The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

June 27, 2013

Oh, the magic of the wild in Wapello County

EDDYVILLE — Want to do something? Exploring the natural world can be as emotionally and physically stimulating as any other activity available to us. I was reminded of this once again this week.

I had been wanting to look at the impact an early spring burn had on a restored prairie on the Eddyville Dunes. Spring 2013 was cold and wet. This seriously hampered the amount of controlled burning we could do. This is critical because fire is the best management tool to enhance native grasslands and control unwanted tree and shrub invasion into these grasslands. One missed year due to poor weather conditions translates into a lot of catch-up work in the following years.

In early spring, there was a window consisting of about three days that presented ideal burning conditions. This is when the Eddyville site was burned. Last week, a co-worker had been to the Dunes completing some trail maintenance work and later indicated that the burned area was aglow in purple. I figured it was some pale purple coneflower since scattered plants in some of our other prairie and savanna restorations were now in full bloom.

The anxiety walking from the truck to the burn site was killing me, and when I crested the hill, the site of thousands of pale purple coneflowers waving in the breeze was incredible! The early spring burn had triggered a tremendous flowering response that was indeed a site to be hold. Spiderwort, butterfly milkweed, vervain, ox-eye sunflower and others were in peak bloom, just past peak or just about to peak. Other species like prairie blazing star, leadplant and wild senna are poised to bloom in the near future.

When you spend time in a prairie, you begin to see things that are not typical, at least in today’s world. Prairies are much more than a group of interesting plants. During my morning field check photographing wildflowers and their response to management, the place literally came alive with the movement and sound of insects pollinating the blooming plants. Likewise, area birds became adjusted to my presence and commenced with their daily ritual of nesting, raising young and those singing males still trying to attract mates. You soon realize that these wild places are magical and that life is much more diverse and abundant as compared to today’s grasslands that are dominated by non-native species of very low diversity. A new theatre opens up nearly every minute in these wild places for those willing to take the time to look, learn and appreciate.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wapello building remains county property OTTUMWA — An option to sell the Wapello building in downtown Ottumwa to River Hills Community Health Center was nixed by the Wapello County Board of Supervisors Tuesday evening. On March 5, River Hills Community Health Center CEO Richard Johnson wrot

    March 12, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National