Sunday, December 9, 2007

random roundup

1) Just heard some reassuring news from my wife's uncle John, that he had in fact decided to go into partnership with Pheasants Forever to restore a significant chunk of his property in eastern Wisconsin to a native prairie state. The following is excerpted from an e-mail to me, but I thought folks might appreciate a bunch of the details involved:

"Pheasants Forever was here this Sept. and prepared, along with my help, 20 acres of my 42. That entailed: removing volunteer trees/large bushes, marking off the area, which undulates around the interior of my land, bush hogging to a height of 10 inches with a "Rino" 3 blad/3 part bush hog drawn by a 150 hp John Deer tractor, spraying "Garlon" (a herbicide) with a ten man team, in an all day effort, to treat the cut stems of my red osier dogwood, and finally, for this year, the Co-op came in with a boom sprayer truck and treated all of my cool season grasses with 1.5 qt of 2-4-D/acre herbicide and 2qt of Roundup/acre, also a herbicide. That is it for this year.
The plan for next year starting in probably late April (depending on the weather and temperatures) is to bush hog the entire area again, then the last treatment of chemicals, only Roundup, at the same quantity as in Fall. Then, a controlled burn will be conducted of the entire area, and then in approx. late May/early June the drill planter will be brought in to plant all the native Wisconsin seeds( consisting of about 5-6 grasses, 25 to 35 fobs(flowers), and several legumes(bean plants). During the rest of the summer to Fall a couple more cuts with the bush hog will be done to keep down any non-native plants that have survived all of the above.
I have hated chemicals for a long time, but after much research and many visits of chemists, naturalists, biologists form the University of Wisconsin, Madison and from the WI Dept of Natural Resources, plus input from several environmental organizations and a lot of reading and visiting other prairie sites, I have come to accept this approach (including the chemicals) in order to establish a native prairie.

The estimates I have gotten, this close to Lake Michigan, is that it will take 3-5 years for the prairie to establish itself. The life of the prairie is unlimited as long as we employ controlled burns every 4-5 years to discourage non-native plants from reasserting themselves."

Good on you, John. I need to do a little more research into Pheasants Forever. (I'll admit that while the Ruffed Grouse Society has a great national record for percentage of revenue dedicated to conservation (93% as opposed to PF's 89% or Duck's Unlimited's 82%), I haven't heard squat from any of the local chapters since we joined. I don't need a bunch of new friends, but it'd be nice to know that they need me for more than my annual membership fee.)

2) In cycling news: the Flying Kazakh has officially retired after receiving a one-year suspension for blood doping during the Tour. Perennial sponsor T-Mobile has also decided to end its relationship with professional cycling, leaving Gorgeous George Hincapie mildly high-and-dry. But with a revived team, now under the moniker Team High Road. But it does look like everyone may finally get paid at Team Astana.

In other news: it's the full-on cyclocross season and Sven Nys is riding like the beast he is. Here he is winning the World Cup race in Igorre, Spain. This nice picture is by Joel Roberts, poached from For those that think cyclocross is for patsies... try this on your road bike. This is Bart Wellens riding through one of several sandpits at the World Cup race in Koksidje, Belgium. Tried it a couple of times... not fun... unless you like lactic acid. The pic is by Luc Claessen, also lifted from

3) I'm sure Dan is lamenting, but the season is over for the Lakers of Grand Valley State. They were solidly beaten by NW Missouri State in the NCAA Division II Semifinal two days ago.

4) While I gently berated Dan for hoisting MGoBlog over The Regal Vizsla on his blog-roll, it really does seem to be the place to go for insight into Michigan sports. And according to Brian, UM still doesn't have a coach. Or many great prospects. And Billy Martin, the Athletic Director at UM, was an honor student at the G.W. Bush School of International Diplomacy.


denise garro said...

That is great to here about John.....I love that area of wisconsin.. how can I e-mail that to my brother Joe......

Andrew Campbell said...

D-Nice: sorry i was cursing at the computer when you called. I have modified the blog so you can click on the little envelope in the bottom right corner and then e-mail that blog post to whomever.

Rock on.