Fields are such regular parts of our landscape that we may usually think, to paraphrase the poet, that a Field is a Field is a Field. In fact, fields vary widely in their ecologies: some have structural similarities to Midwestern prairies; aspects of others resemble the wet meadows that follow beaver ponds; some host native grasses from thin-soiled hilltops; others sport the ‘Eastern Oldfield Complex’ of Goldenrod, Milkweed, Dogwood and other plants native and exotic that tumble into abandoned fields; some are but extensive lawns. Each of these flavors of field hosts not only different plants but, in turn, distinct animals. Because fields of one sort or another are so much part of what we paint onto the landscape, we’ve been curious to research the details of this variety, and the works summarized below can help you explore the array of fields around you.

Ecology in the Field of Time: Book chapter exploring the last 200 years of field history in the County.

Fields and Meadows: Our web page detailing the history of fields and introducing farmland plants.

Further explore the ecological significance of different types of fields: Mature Hayfields, Old Fields and Poor Meadows, Shrubby Fields, Wet Meadows

Butterflies of Openlands: A short report looking at the butterfly communities of different local field types.

Common field plants: Identification material for some of our common field grasses and legumes.