Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ruby Grant Park

My current project is site analysis of the Ruby Grant farm. A quarter section, 160 acres, farm probably owned by the same family since the shots were fired in the air on the land run. The property was donated to OU, who has sold it to the city with the stipulation it become a park. I think it is an absolute treasure. It appears that the eastern red cedar has been kept under control. The property has two creeks, beaver dams and the little river flowing through it. It has remarkable topography considering the surrounding flat prairie. The upland prairies just up out of the lower riparian corridor are shoulder height with grass and Forbes. Black willow, hackberry, cottonwood dominate the canopy while dogwood and coral berry thrive in the understory. Plum and persimmon thickets thrive in the open savanna and sumac and soap berry cling to the edges of the forest in dense colonies. I also suspect native ash and hawthorn to be numbered. I saw a few lone pecans, but no oak or hickory.

The grasses are abundant, and even the farmed fields have native grass creeping into them. I don't know my prairie grasses very well, but I did see little and big bluestem, sedge in the wetlands and large communities of panicum. My wording tonight is hodgepodge and I'm not sticking to common or Latin. I'm tired, and if I don't write it, it won't get recorded.

Birds: hawks, big and small, bluebird with rosy bellies, crowned sparrow, larks, cardinal, wax wing, ducks of a couple species, blue heron, robin, wren?, fly catcher or mockingbird?. Numerous nests.

Beaver, turtle, coyote, grazing deer, rabbit, mice trails.

The Ruby Grant property is a treasure. It has historic farm value, mix grass prairie, savanna prairie views and communities, wetlands, bogs or marshes, ponds, creeks and waterfall. I hope to write more on Ruby Grant, but tonight I'm just going to get up yesterday's pictures. It was really bright at mid-day when I went out, so the pictures are a little bit washed out.

More to come...