Friday, October 9, 2009

Prairie Autumn

Big Bluestem stalks in Autumn at Prairie Hill Farm

It hit 24 degrees farenhiet this morning at Prairie Hill Farm...I think autumn has really arrived and will be here to stay. It's really not too early for a hard frost here, it just seems like it should still be August!

Most people don't realize how beautiful the prairie can be in the fall. Even Big Bluestem covered hillsides have a wonderful amber or bronze blush from a distance. Little Bluestem and Indian grass also add to the mix, creating an forgetful patina.

Stiff Goldenrod are never a dissapointment on the autumn prairie!

The forbs (wildflowers) are richly multicolored too in the fall. Probably the best examples are the Stiff Goldenrods...they're kind of like the "hard maples" of pairie autumn color makers! But all the goldenrod family celebrate fall in similar ways, so even the most docile CRP or pasture will yeild a show worth stopping and looking.

There are even asters still blooming at this time and despite the frost, their stems and leaves are ablaze with reds, burgundy, rusts, orange and yellow. Another late bloomer is the Downy Gentian...a flower of deep blue sky, a bloom to be jealus of.

We have been nearly overwhelmed with chores in the garden, yard and pasture since the A.R.T. weekend event, so there has only been minor work going on in the studio at present. Today we're off to Waterman Prairie south of here to help the Prairie Heritage Center pick seed for their prairie work. That's fun work, especially on a crisp sunny fall day like today!

Hope you can get out and enjoy this day as well!

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