It’s Limerick Time!

Last year, I started what I hoped would become a long-running tradition on this blog: an annual prairie limerick challenge. I asked all of you to help me remember to do it again this year. Guess how many of you did so? Exactly none.

Despite that, I’m forging ahead with year two of the Prairie Limerick Challenge. Thank you to Pete’s Plants for once again sponsoring this event (see their ad at the bottom of this page).

Prairies, of course, are deserving of epic poems, or at least adoring sonnets – but who has the time to write those? Besides, prairies are among the most underappreciated, and even derided of ecosystems by snobs who think nature has to have towering trees or waterfalls in order to be beautiful. With that in mind, the limerick seems the perfect poetic form with which to celebrate prairies.

The rules of this challenge are simple. Write a limerick that has a prairie(ish?) theme and submit it below in the comments section of this post. I’ll select some of my favorites and highlight them in next week’s post. You have until midnight on December 1, 2019 to make your submission. Feel free to submit as many as you like.

Remember that limericks do have a particular format to them. This website might be helpful to those who are unsure of the ‘rules’ of limerick writing.

Here is an example limerick I wrote that might help get your creative juices flowing:

Some religions build churches with spires
And then worship with hymns sung by choirs
We build prairies from seeds
And then honor our deeds
With singing? Nope – big roaring fires


Or this one, which might be appreciated only by those who hang around with botanists:

A botanist out in the prairie
Once posed a most interesting query
He held out a flower
And asked with a glower
“Is that peduncle glabrous or hairy??”

I look forward to reading your submissions. Thanks in advance for your work!

(Sorry, everyone, Pete’s Plants is a fictional company. Mostly, I needed an excuse to use the “give Pete’s a chance” phrase.)

Photos of the Week – November 22, 2019

I was scanning through files of old photographs yesterday, looking for an image to use for a project, when I came across a photo of a cottonwood leaf that had gotten caught by big bluestem. I remembered how much I liked that photo. A little later, I was looking through another folder of images and found a couple photos of cottonwood leaves along a stream at the Niobrara Valley Preserve. I liked those photos too. “Fine,” I thought, “I’ll just go with it.” Thus, today’s Photos of the Week post features photos of cottonwood leaves.

Just because.

Lincoln Creek Prairie, Aurora, Nebraska.
Niobrara Valley Preserve.
Niobrara Valley Preserve.
This photo is so old it was scanned from a slide. (For you kids out there, slides are a kind of analog camera sensor that made you wait a long time to see if your photo turned out well.)
North Platte River, Lincoln County, Nebraska.
Lincoln County, Nebraska.