This felt like the real first week of spring in our local prairies. Wildflowers are starting to pop, especially where fire or grazing has removed a lot of the thatch and the soil is warming more quickly. Both at our family prairie and The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies, bees and other early pollinators should be having an easier time finding food.
The Fellows and I spent a little time walking the prairies together yesterday after finishing a short prescribed fire. We talked about how the prairies look pretty barren from the road, and that even from 10 or 20 feet away, many of the wildflowers are hard to see. But because we were walking around and really looking, we found plenty of color. I’ve said before that spring wildflower walks are much like Easter egg hunts, and it felt a little like that yesterday too.
As temperatures in the soil and air continue to rise, so will the amount of color in our local prairies. After a long winter, watching that progression is always exhilarating.