Thursday, March 22, 2012

Out and About!

Pasque Flowers (Pulsatilla patens) on Waterman Prairie
Photograph © Bruce A. Morrison

Its finally time to get out of the studio and shake the cobs out'a my legs!  Oh I could've easily hiked with the cameras this winter, it was so nice, but there was no snow 90% of the time and a brown winter landscape doesn't move me too much I guess.

I knew the pasques were up - they "had" to be!  I've seen pasques before Easter in years past, but they were usually "just" emerged and sometimes accompanied by snow!  But this year is so weird...70's and 80's in March??!!  I finally got out for a look yesterday afternoon when the wind was mild for a change.  

Ya, there they were, hundreds of 'em!  I was late as I'd expected and the majority were a little fried and pale from hot dry weather.  But there were plenty to choose from.

It was nice to finally get out on the prairie!  The Western Meadowlarks were serenading the hillsides while the Chorus and Northern Leopard Frogs called happily from the bottoms.  Spring is glorious! 


pattyk said...

Love the pasque flowers Bruce. We are planning to drive down towards Peterson this afternoon. Any suggestions where we could maybe find some anywhere in that area? Thanks!

Prairie Painter said...

Patty, I hope I'm not answering too late, I've been out all morning. The Prairie Heritage Center is having a Pasque walk this afternoon and will take you right to them. They're meeting in a parking lot on Wilson Avenue (Wilson's on the west side of the Little Sioux River bridge on Hwy 10)...go "South" 1 and 1/2 miles on Wilson - at the top of the hill there'll be a parking lot on the east side of the road...if you get too late, just follow the path east from the lot and walk to the ridges...they'll be there!

pattyk said...

No, Bruce, you weren't too late. We were getting ready to leave and I checked back and found your message. Was just hoping we could find some where we didnt have to walk quite so far. My husband has had both hips replaced and not up to that much of a walk yet. We went down and just wandered around. No pasques but did go through Wanata and found trillium and hepatica. Wanted to ask to where the heron rookery is? Can you see it from the road? Thanks again!

Prairie Painter said...

Hi Patty, ya the Pasques are a "walk in" unfortunately. The Hepaticas and Snow Trillium are fun finds though! Great time of the year for the spring ephemerals. The Heron Rookery is viewable from our road (White Ave south off of B40)...just drive past our place about an 1/8th mile to the top of the next hill and look east...or stop here and look at the rookery from the studio deck...I have a small scope here. (Very windy today and tomorrow -they'll probably be "grounded" until that abates.)

pattyk said...

I grew up north of Peterson and there used to be Pasque flowers all along Hwy 10 till you get to the road going north to the old Boy Scout camp. I miss that...Thanks for the directions and invitation. Will have to see when we get down there again. Are they pretty viewable most of the time?
Thanks again!
PS I love this time of year also!

Prairie Painter said...

I'm afraid those days of our native forbs being visible from the roadways is only possible now where the DOT has been reseeding the ditches. Its a shame but indiscriminate blanket spraying has ended that legacy of our natural heritage.

The Heron Rookery is visible from the road here or our studio's deck. But once the trees leaf out the nests are no longer visible.