You Couldn't Ask For a Better Day in the Flint Hills

Beautiful fall weather makes visit to grasslands absolutely perfect

When the temperature hovers between 65 and 70, the skies are blue and the wind blows anything less than 25 mph, I always find a reason to go check on how the pastures are doing in the Flint Hills.

Today, they were doing great -- well relatively great. The native grasses have had a really good year with plenty of moisture though the cool temperatures have been kinder to a lot of their enemies than to the tallgrass prairie.

The event I attended today -- a Rangeland Management Demonstration that hauled out a powerful new weapon in the war against  fast-growing woody brush species -- was a great opportunity to drive to the unpopulated and unvarnished prairie and really love a great day.

I have to admit my initial attraction was more about being in the middle of nowhere on a picture perfect day than about high-tech machinery, but I was really impressed by how fast the new back-hoe power saw being demonstrated can take down a full-size hedge tree. About four minutes by my clock for a 30-foot-tall, two-foot diameter hedge.

Maybe you have to have tried that with a chain saw to really appreciate it, but it was something to watch.

During the day, I got a chance to chat a bit with Greenwood County Extension agent Jeff Davidson who has been helping ranchers fight invasive species, especially serecia lespedesa, for a decade. He had a lot of interesting things to say about battling invasive species and I'll share more of those in December's magazine.

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