Prairie Adventure with Andy and Adam
About three weeks ago, I went on my annual Arizona trek. Part of my plans involved meeting up with Homer and heading down to Bisbee to visit Cobban and his partner Ray. As is his wont, in advance of my arrival, Homer did a poll on his blog to determine what dessert he should whip up for the occasion (lemon cupcakes. They were delicious).
The day before my departure for Arizona, an email appeared in my inbox:
Amazing! Fascinating! The very next day. we decided to get together on my first night in Arizona. In another amazing coincidence, they lived 3 houses away from the B&B where I was staying (cue Twilight Zone music...). We spent the evening taking and drinking wine (Rodger will find a theme here). They were both delightful folks, and very much kindred spirits.My name is Andy; I'm an acquaintance of Homer Thiel and I found your blog through my huzbin Adam via Homer. Apparently you know Ray and Cobben as well? Crazy.My family has an old 400 acre place in southwest Wisconsin in the driftless area that we've been gradually restoring to tall-grass prairie and oak savanna for the last 25 years or so.
This past weekend, Adam and Andy were up in Wisconsin on their prairie. Yesterday, Leon and I headed on up to see the place and meet Andy's parents, who own the property. Tom and Eva are every bit a nice as their son (apples not falling far from the tree and all that), and we had a delightful day. The 400 acres is most impressive.
Restored prairie on dry hillside
The family has obviously put a lot of work into their restoration. The oldest sections are reverting very well to native vegetation. The newest are, well, new, but I'm sure they will come along just fine. The wetlands, currently pink with Joe Pye weed are especially impressive. The farm is in the driftless area, so it's quite hilly. The underlying rock is sandstone rather than the limestone that I'm more accustomed to.
Driftless Area - This hill wasn't flattened by the last glacier
Wet prairie with Joe Pye Weed
We were invited to dinner- and stayed, even though this meant not getting home until 11:30 last night. The late afternoon view from the deck where we dined (photo below) faded into a night of flickering candles and fireflies, accompanied by good food and conversation. Our new friendships have been such an unexpected and pleasant surprise.