Wednesday, September 8, 2010


While my perennial home garden looks sad, dry and pathetic due to the heat and lack of water, the prairie part of Prairie Pond Woods is in full, vibrant bloom mode...complete with more butterflies than I have ever seen!
That is the joy of native prairie plants…and the joy of prairies in general. I know, I know, I rant about it every year beginning in July and don’t stop until October!
But prairies have a beauty and wisdom all their own. Every year is different. Every year something new appears or reappears after a long absence, when conditions become just right. I love this dynamic. And the color combinations are exquisite!

A whole field of purple and yellow complimentary colors with green, white and lavender is dazzling! I want to just stand there for hours.

One patch by the fallen willow displays the white splashes of boneset, the orange dots of spotted jewelweed, the vivid, purple tufts of ironweed , all atop a layer of lavender mistflower mixed with the yellow starbursts of black-eyed Susans (the photo below just doesn't capture the delight of it all). 

Some Big Bluestem in the foreground

The Start of The Refresher Course
While strolling along The Refresher Course, whose paths I reluctantly widened this year, I was amazed to see a few Butterlyweed plants still in bloom. They usually peak about the third week in July, so an extra few weeks of show is quite the treat!

Butterlfyweed Pods "ripening" in the sun

Every fall when the wind stirs, I hope seeds are being dispersed to other less colorful parts of the prairie. When the birds begin to migrate back south, I wonder what new seeds they are depositing, maybe from the well-known Lynx Prairie just a mile or so away as the crow flys.  And when the deer amble through at dusk, I know seeds are shaking loose and hitching a ride on their bodies. 

Like all gardening or land restoration, it is an act of complete trust.  So much of the process is silent, unseen and dependent on so much more than we realize.  Growth and diversity are amazing and miraculous events...may you find them in your gardens and in your hearts.

Enjoy these other random photos, shot while "strolling the grounds...."

Question Mark
You can see the "question mark" on its ventral hindwing
Played Peek-a-boo around the stem until I out-maneuvered  it and got the shot
I'm thinking this praying mantis is full with eggs...  Yay!!!
The not-so-eentsy-weensty spider...
Abandoned Field Sparrow Eggs

Hazelnut Pods
Sphynx Moth
Common Buckeye
Red-spotted Purples enjoying minerals and salt from Scat!