Perhaps the most dramatic illustration of the rise and decline of KR bluestem (KR) was on the upper ridge grassland at the road bend. Once the fence was finished in 1977, KR soon came into dominence. In the 1977 and 1979 photos, the straw-colored grass is KR, in 1977 especially near the fence (in the back), but more widespread in 1979.
By the early 1980s KR came to dominate in most areas of our land.
But by 2000 it had all but disappeared in areas with shallow soil, as in the field along the road bend, which in 2007 has no dominant grass. The first photo below illustrates our selective removal of small Ashe junipers to provide privacy from the roadside. The roadside itself, regularly mown by Hays County for wildfire control, has virtually no KR. The second photo is from just inside the junipers to show the full field.
In 2007 grasses in this field include, in order of frequency,