Category Archives: Prairie Plants

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

Posted in Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

A Travel Week Plant Quiz

I’m writing this from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I am preparing to speak at and attend the 2015 Native Prairie Restoration and Reclamation Workshop hosted by Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan.  It’s my first trip to Saskatchewan, and I’m excited to … Continue reading

Posted in General, Prairie Animals, Prairie Management, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Photo of the Week – January 23, 2015

There are a few subjects I can’t seem to keep from photographing.  Milkweed seeds, for example.  Patterns of ice on frozen wetlands.  Dew-covered insects.  And sunflowers. What flower is more distinctive?  Their bright yellow color and big round flowers stand … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Ruminations on Tree Planting and Prairie Conservation

Trees are great, but trees in and around prairies can negatively impact habitat quality for many grassland plant and animal species and provide points of introduction for invasive species.  Encroachment by trees has become a major threat to prairie conservation … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Photo of the Week – December 19, 2014

Do you recognize this tallgrass prairie plant?   No?   Well, it is a member of the carrot family.   Early European settlers thought its roots could provide an antidote to rattlesnake bites. They were wrong.   The plant somewhat … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Contrasting Approaches to Prairie Management: Leopold, Land Health and Cabbages.

“A Land Ethic” is the concluding essay in Aldo Leopold’s 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, and is the most powerful and relevant piece of conservation writing I’ve ever read.   Leopold’s essay spells out the changes we need to make in … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Photo of the Week – December 11, 2014

For no particular reason, here are two unrelated photos from the same day.  Both photographs were taken on September 28, 2014 at our family prairie south of Aurora, Nebraska.  I wish I could come up with a pithy and informative … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

What I Look For When I Walk Through My Prairies

Back in August, I posted some questions to readers about what they look for when evaluating their own prairies.  I got some excellent responses, which I really appreciated.  If you missed them, you can re-read that post and those comments … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments