Narrows Prairie 2005

[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Narrows Prairie page.]

This was the prairie’s second year, so we didn’t mow very much. We mowed the thick patches of Yellow and White Sweet Clover just before they bloomed, but that was all.

Unfortunately, the first things to bloom were the dandelions – I was afraid they would choke out the prairie plants. This is the view in May, after the dandelions went to seed.

But as more prairie plants started blooming, the dandelions didn’t seem like as much of a problem. These are some of the prairie flowers in July.

This is looking west in August – still a lot of Queen Anne’s Lace and Mare’s Tail, but lots of prairie flowers.

I did some hand weeding of the prairie in July and August. I found a large patch of Common St. John’s Wort so I dug and pulled as much of it out as I could. And I pulled some White and Yellow Sweet Clover.

I made a list of all the prairie plants I found growing there in August – not bad for the praire’s second summer.

Purple Giant Hyssop – Agastache scrophularioides
Smooth Aster – Aster laevis
New England Aster – Aster novae-angeliae
Sky Blue Aster – Aster oolentangiensis
Frost Aster – Aster pilosus
Side Oats Grama – Bouteloua curtipendula
Ear-leaved Brome – Bromus altissimus
Prairie Brome – Bromus kalmii
Field Thistle – Cirsium discolor
White Prairie Clover – Dalea candida
Purple Prairie Clover – Dalea purpurea
Canada Tick-trefoil – Desmodium canadense
Canada Wild Rye – Elymus canadensis
Bottlebrush Grass – Elymus hystrix
Slender Wheat Grass – Elymus trachycaulus
Sweet Everlasting – Gnapthalium obtusifolium
Oxeye – Heliopsis helianthoides
Giant St. John’s Wort – Hypericum pyramidatum
June Grass – Koeleria cristata
Wild Lupine – Lupinus perennis
Bergamot – Monarda fistulosa
Dotted Horsemint – Monarda punctata
Evening Primrose – Oenothera biennis
Prairie Cinqfoil – Potentilla arguta
Mountain Mint – Pycnanthemum virginianum
Yellow Coneflower – Ratibida pinnata
Black-eyed Susan – Rudbeckia hirta
Brown-eyed Susan – Rudbeckia triloba
Little Bluestem – Schizachyrium scoparium
White Goldenrod – Solidago ptarmicoides
Stiff Goldenrod – Solidago rigida
Showy Goldenrod – Solidago speciosa
Indian Grass – Sorghastrum nutans
Blue Vervain – Verbena hastata
Hoary Vervain – Verbena stricta
Golden Alexander – Zizia aurea

Here are pictures of some of them.
Azure Aster

Frost Aster

Stiff Gentian

Stiff Goldenrod

One of the nicest things about planting these prairies is to see all the wildlife in the fields. There are so many insects and birds and small animals that weren’t there when the fields were planted with crops.

This view of the flowers was taken in October 2005.

And this is the prairie in December 2005.