Monday, August 1, 2011

Peak Prairie Season


Our neighbor Paul has restored native prairie to most of the 90 acres he owns - land which once was part of our farm.  He has  enrolled it in a conservation program and enjoys it for the abundant wildlife - deer,  pheasant and coyotes (well, actually he is a hunter and doesn't truly appreciate the coyotes.)   The prairie is beautiful and I appreciate that my bees can gather nectar and pollen from native prairie flowers.  You can see one on my bees (yes, I am certain it is one of my bees!) near the upper left  coneflower in this photo.
The prairie is dotted with echinacea (purple coneflower), a favored wildflower for monarch butterflies.  In about a month, there will be monarchs galore gathering in our woods and feasting in Paul's prairie, staging for the big migration to Mexico for the winter.
Our little piece of prairie does not have purple coneflowers --yet. This year I intend to  collect a few of the coneflower seeds (with Paul's permission) and scatter in our prairie. I hope it will be as successful as scattering yellow coneflower seeds was last year.
About 60 acres of Paul's land now looks like this!  It is considerable work and expense to maintain the prairie with regular burning.  Thank you, Paul.

3 comments:

Bee Girl said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I dream of living on (or next to) a prairie like this! Thank you for sharing.

Marie said...

I am attempting to do the same with 11 acres...it's green and ready for its first mowing ... it'll be at least two years before the coneflowers bloom. Seed costs were kinda spendy ....

The Luddite said...

bravo!