Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tallgrass Autumn

The "back 80" behind Prairie Hill Farm

It's no longer summer! Well, it still feels like summer...except it's beginning to get dark a lot earlier than I'd gotten used to. The trees are beginning to turn here and there too, but not quite dramatic enough yet.

Probably the biggest giveaway here in NW Iowa is the crops. The soybeans are really turning yellow and then amber as they drop their leaves - this can be quite dramatic when the light is fleeting as cloud shadows dance across the larger landscape.

My favorite autumn effect here however is the prairie. The forbs and grasses here never fail to satisfy; I can't remember a fall without the grasses and the wildflower "plants" turning wonderful vibrant color. We don't have the benefit of the amazing autumn landscapes of the NE United States, nor the wonderful north woods transformation we've witnessed on the north shore of Lake Superior, but we've got something very special in it's own right.

Indian grass and New Enland Aster

Autumn here also means the last flowers of the season - mainly the asters, sunflowers, and gentians. The asters here on our prairie remnant are a real joy to behold. Tuck these great fall forbs between Indian grass, or Big or Little bluestem and they're even more beautiful and vibrant.

Ya the autumnal equinox has arrived and passed here on the tallgrass...this is definitely a time to enjoy, as we did last summer!

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