There is an interesting change happening over here…
Previous to us seeding the land back to grass it was planted to annual crops each year. When cropped year after year, the riparian areas around wetlands diminish as the farmer seeds as close as he can to the waters edge. Trees and grass do not have a chance to establish themselves. If they do establish because of wet springs, they are often burnt out later in the year when the water dries down. Unless it is particularly deep and holds water every year, eventually the wetland is lost altogether.
This is the fifth season of being in grass for this quarter of land. Surrounding this pothole slough is a ring of cattails and now a shallow ring of willow trees is growing here again. I like knowing they are here and trying to grow.
|(Sorry, poor quality photo on this one)|
Balance is still key, as willows and other species can also take over a prairie. But Mother Nature usually takes care of that in this way:
This is the third year of being under water for these trees. They died out last year, which is when this photo was taken. Sheep and I'm sure the wild ruminants as well, also love to graze tender, young tress leaves and can keep the spread of unwanted trees at bay.
All these changes take time and often won’t happen in one season or even two but only after a handful of seasons has passed. It’s tough for us time pressured humans to give nature or ourselves that much time and patience, or to trust that in the end every thing, every little thing, always works itself out as intended.