[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Big View Prairie page.]
5/14/2010 This is the bottom edge of the prairie – where the birches begin. Below this there are prairie plants, but they’re shaded by the birches and other brushy plants that have grown up – mostly sumac and honeysuckle. I girdled the birch trees this spring so they would die and let more light get to those prairie and savanna plants.
5/14/2010 Frog Orchid – I found it growing under the birches.
8/15/2010 Western Sunflower
8/15/2010 This spring I tried an experiment. The area right in front of the bench was all Smooth Brome (Bromus intermis) – a non native pasture grass that’s left over from when the land was grazed. This spring, when the Brome grass was a few inches tall, but before most of the prairie plants had come up, I sprayed that area with glyphosate. It was very successful! All the Brome is gone, and now the area is all Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii – a native prairie grass). The only problem is that the Bluestem is so tall that there’s no view from the bench. There are other prairie plants coming up too – Violets and Ground-cherry (Physalis sp.) – so I’m hoping the area will become a little more diverse – and maybe a little shorter – next year.
8/27/2010 Great Plains Lady’s Tresses – another orchid that blooms in late summer and fall in dry prairies.
10/2/2010 More of the tall Big Bluestem in front of the bench