Monday, June 15, 2009

Things Progressing at Prairie Hill Farm...

False Gromwell in bloom

Things are moving along here...both on the prairie remnant and in the studio. The grant work I've been immersed in since April is beginning to find the next week or week and a half, neighbors (all about a half mile away) will likely hear a big sigh of relief!

In the meantime life moves on the prairie here and on the gravel road out front (more on that later).

False Gromwell is in peak bloom this's a local native that most people have never had experience with, yet is one of my early favorites in the tallgrass prairie. It's also called Marble seed since the seed is extremely hard and "roundish". They're (the seeds) about BB size, so I'd hate to play marbles with them. I can't really attest to it but I've heard that wet plants tend to smell like a wet mule...I've never seen the deer bother them so maybe there's something to it?

False Gromwell with Bumble Bee

Although False Gromwell flowers are fairly non-descript, Humming birds and Bumble Bees love to pollinate these flowers. The plants themselves though are very handsome in shape and structure, and vary from a yellow green through almost gray hues.

"False Gromwell Slope" color pencil - private collection

One of my first experiences with this forb was on a newly state aquired prairie site back in the late nineties. This is now the south section of Waterman Prairie south of here. There was a slope I did a small color pencil study of and it was rampant with False Gromwell!

Wild Four O'Clock

Another small, and very common. wildflower that's in bloom on the pasture is the Wild Four O'clock...another overlooked native forb! A very colorful but small blossom...usually pops up wherever it wants, but the fence line seems to be a favored location.

Porcupine Grass

And the cool season native grasses are beginning to flower...Porcupine grass is a cool one...but there's also Western Wheat, June Grass, and a couple varieties of panicum or Panic Grass.

Right now you may have trouble getting to us, the road is completely torn up and the rains we "finally" managed to get are making things quite troublesome. If you have 4 wheel drive you'll probably be OK, but I would not recommend it until the county gets things straightened out. In the meantime if you need anything, just email or give us a call.

See you on the tallgrass!

No comments: