Category Archives: Prairie Plants

A Visual Illustration of Plant Diversity’s Importance

Last week, I took some photos that powerfully demonstrate the importance of plant diversity. Several years ago, we created some research plots to help us learn more about how plant diversity interacts with ecosystem function.  As you can see above, the … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Photo of the Week – April 24, 2015

The aesthetic values of prairie are more subtle than those in many other ecosystems.  There is much beauty to be found, but you sometimes have to look for it – it doesn’t often rise up and slap you in the … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Introducing: The Prairie Word of the Day

I’m sure many of you are as tired of this blog as I am.  The same old nature photos, natural history, prairie management/restoration information…  It just drones on and on.  Honestly, I don’t know how you manage to drag your … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Pretty but Powerful

Because they can’t run away, plants may seem helpless against the many large and small herbivores that like to eat them.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Many plants have physical defenses such as thorns or stiff hairs to … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

From the Ashes

Last Friday, I wandered through the small prairie we burned back on March 10.  Even though it is still very early spring, there were already a number of prairie plants popping out of the ground.  I posted photos of this site … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Photo of the Week – March 12, 2015

We conducted our first prescribed burn of the Spring this week.  It was very small – about an acre or so – surrounded by gravel roads.  The first burn after a long winter is always a little rocky; everyone’s a … Continue reading

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Every Little Bit Helps

I’m getting excited about this upcoming field season.  For the first time in several years, we’re going to be attempting to harvest seed from as many prairie plant species as we can.  Between about 1997 and 2005, we spent much of … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Why Does Plant Diversity Matter? Help Us Figure It Out!

How important is plant diversity in restored prairies? Are diverse prairies more resistant to drought and invasive species than less diverse prairies? How does plant diversity influence invertebrate communities and their ecological functions? These kinds of questions have been the focus … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Photo of the Week – February 5, 2015

Snow!  The long range forecast last fall called for a wet winter, but we’ve had very little snow so far.  This week, we finally got a couple good snow storms (and two days of cancelled school).  However, the high temperatures … Continue reading

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Seeing Past the Ugliness

I’ve spent much of my career restoring prairie, and I gain immense satisfaction from watching bare ground turn into beautiful prairie.  Following the lead of Bill Whitney and Prairie Plains Resource Institute, we have tried to harvest seed from as … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments