It’s been 9 falls since we started restoration on this hill south of Sun Prairie – a couple of botany grads a couple of botany grads fresh out of school with no pressing commitments. And one of us had a friend who had some funding to restore wildlife habitat on her farm. We set out with bow saws and big ideas, to clear 12 acres of brush, box elder and cherry crowding out the old oaks. We didn’t know what we were getting into back in January of 2004. But we learned quickly. We needed chain saws, a pickup truck, and fire–but mostly hard labor. This picture from fall of 2012 shows the results of 10 years of work and letting nature take its course. It’s nice to look back at this time of year and contemplate how far we’ve come.