After those wordy posts, here are some photos. Firstly, that mystery legume is in flower. I need to find a few minutes to go searching through the plant identification sites to figure it out. My guess is some form of wild pea.
Some of the fescue left standing has gone to seed. The cows will eat the rich grass underneath, but leaving some standing grass to mature will help the fescue propagate.
This fat caterpillar loves the lotier/birdsfoot trefoil. Eat up young creature! Nom nom nom.
It’s not all rose-colored glasses here for us grasspunks. This is the weedy part of the least fertile part of the Florida paddock. In last year’s drought we skipped grazing this area as having no food value at all. The one time we put them in during the drought they just stood there looking grumpy as though I had tricked them and violated the secret cow-farmer pact of giving them plenty of food in return for good behavior. It might be a coincidence but this is where they broke the fence and escaped a few months back.
This time last year everything here was dead. There was a lot of bare earth. Now there are plenty of interesting plants. There’s not much grass, but there are plenty of plantain plants and red clover, both of which cows like. Each successive year should see a buildup of fertility and the grasses will move in when the soil has what they need.
This field was moss-bound in spring 2011, now there’s about one third of the moss. Still, there’s more work fixing fertility to finish the job of getting rid of the moss. It is a long way from Wormvana.
A broader view – pretty much all legumes and plantain with a few other weeds and forbs thrown in. It is almost a herbal ley (temporary pasture), like the poor cousin of the fancy seeds that Cotswold Seeds sell based on Newman Turner’s leys.
Incidentally, most of the stuff in those herbal leys grows wild on our farm. I just need to source some chicory and give it a go.