Prairie Limerick Challenge! – Brought to you by Pete’s Plants

I spent last week in Houston, attending The Nature Conservancy’s Global Science Gathering. It was a great meeting and I came away with lots of ideas for thought-provoking blog posts.  This isn’t one of them.

One night at dinner, in the midst of a wide-ranging discussion, a friend mentioned participating in a challenge to turn scientific journal articles into poems. Without really meaning to, I immediately composed a bad limerick about the value of fire in prairies.  (I’m not really right in the head.)  Since that night, my brain keeps trying to write more limericks about prairies.  Rather than keep all the fun to myself, I thought maybe we could turn it into a communal activity.  

I felt like I needed a photo of some kind for this post.  I picked out this one, which I think looks like a happy face in the ice.  

As a result, I’m introducing The Prairie Ecologist’s first annual Prairie Limerick Contest.  Send me your best prairie-themed limericks in the comments section below and I’ll pick out my favorites to share in an upcoming post.

Here’s an example to get your creative juices flowing:

Joe loved prairies with flowers and bees,
But his poor kids were filled with unease
“We hate this,” they chorused
“Let’s move to the forest!”
He said “Sure, just get rid of the trees!”

I should mention, this contest is sponsored by Pete’s Plants, a totally fake company that offers everything you need for establishing a backyard prairie garden or large-scale grassland restoration project.  In addition to their sponsorship, Pete’s Plants even provided their own limerick (below). Thank you to Pete and all his staff!

18 thoughts on “Prairie Limerick Challenge! – Brought to you by Pete’s Plants

  1. shoreacres November 21, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    This is great! Here’s one to start things off. Happy Thanksgiving!

    With bluestem so bushy and bold,
    and Indian grass turning gold,
    the prairie’s rich treasure
    provides far more pleasure
    than goods that can be purchased or sold.

    • shoreacres November 21, 2018 / 2:13 pm

      Hmmm.. better change that last line to “goods that are purchased or sold.”

  2. margy stewart November 21, 2018 / 3:28 pm

    There once were some young Melissodes
    Females–called Thistle Long-horned Bees
    They hated the name
    “Hey–we’re not the same!”
    It’s the males that have lengthy antennaes.

  3. Patrick November 21, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    Ok, I’ll bite.
    There once was a man who photographed prairie creatures,
    Often up closely to show off their features.
    The public was amazed,
    but the cattle just grazed,
    confused by the antics of one of our best teachers.

    • Patrick November 21, 2018 / 4:43 pm

      Maybe one edit: “but the cattle just lowed and grazed”

  4. Jon Fisher November 21, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    Those cows that are happily grazing,
    Purport to do something amazing!
    More carbon in soil,
    And yet I recoil
    When methane so loudly is blazing!

  5. jaundicedferret November 21, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    Those cows that are happily grazing,
    Purport to do something amazing!
    More carbon in soil,
    And yet I recoil
    When methane so loudly is blazing!

  6. Chris Muldoon November 22, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    There’s this Helzer guy named Chris

    known as The Prairie Ecologist.

    He teaches us much

    about prairies and such,

    so his blogs should never be missed!

  7. JamCafe November 23, 2018 / 10:08 am

    Winter burns are held dear in my heart
    As one of the many features that set prairies apart
    The diesel to gas may be two to one
    But closing a ring-fire is second to none
    Behold the glorious prairie ablaze
    To shift the mosaic of plants for bison to graze
    And best of all, the mop-up doesn’t take days!

  8. shoreacres November 23, 2018 / 11:05 am

    So — I amused myself while doing dishes. And, yes — there is a native Texas brome: Bromus texensis.

    When grasses start whispering poems,
    their stories at last will be known.
    They gather together
    through fair and rough weather —
    the bluestem, the muhly, the brome.

  9. shoreacres November 23, 2018 / 11:28 am

    OK — one more.

    Through sunshine and rain the monarch’s sweet reign
    delights both the eye and the soul.
    Aloft and a-flutter
    this swift fly called ‘butter’
    avoids all demands for a toll.

    Such fun!

  10. Inger November 23, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    I wish I had a prairie
    With its own prairie fairy
    She’d lay down free seeds
    And magic the weeds
    Making management so much less hairy

  11. Benjamin Vogt November 24, 2018 / 12:51 pm

    Asclepias sullivantii, Liatris aspera,
    Symphyotrichum oblongifolium.
    Verbena hastata
    Callirhoe involucrata,
    Eupatorium perfoliatum.

  12. Karen d. November 26, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    Whether grazing with bison or cattle,
    One’s decision can cause a pitched battle.
    But in prairies today,
    Both grow fat on good hay,
    And will rarely be felled by atlatl.

    • Beth Madden November 27, 2018 / 12:46 pm

      First rate, Karen!!!!! Kudos.

  13. Keith Bennett December 3, 2018 / 8:56 am

    Moats, Moats, Scott Moats
    He,s not a rapper
    He,s a prairie chicken trapper
    Has a chicken in the sack
    and has to get back
    to Missouri, in a hurry
    has the pedal to the medal
    and he works at broken kettle
    Moats, Moats, Scott Moats
    And the chickens go, Whoop, Whoop


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