Prairie Birthday’s

Sometimes it is the little things that inspire me the most. Things that others may pass, are they too busy to stop, don’t they care? It is a "Prairie Birthday" for so many plants..especially the little wildflowers in June. Some are blooming along the drive, others are found out on the edges of the fields where corporate farming takes place. They are survivors, they are blooming, so it must be their birthday! Every year I notice some plant, that I never took the time to identify before. Some only bloom for a few days, if you are not at the right place at the right will have missed it completely.

Hello Hoary Puccoon! You certainly are yellow, those cars travelling by at the speed limit probably just think you are a dandelion.. I know better. If they looked closely they would see that you are really yellow/orange, and look nothing at all like a dandelion.

Common Chickweed really shines like hundreds of tiny stars in the grass at twilight. They must be having a private celebration every night.

Wild Blue Phlox, I noticed a whole ditch full of them, vibrant, fresh into their birthday duds in the afternoon sunshine. Far Guy would not stop. I knew that I would never catch that scene again. Even though I was desperate to go back, it would not have been the same as THAT moment. The light would have changed…the moment was gone. I had to settle for the few along our driveway. I had waited patiently for  Far Guy  to do his errands, I rode along, to make sure Chance wouldn’t get to hot in the car. It would have only taken a minute. His hours were way more important that day than my minute. Ten miles later he did offer to turn around and go back..but the moment was lost.

Wild Iris, she might have escaped from a pioneer housewife’s garden years ago, she shows up in some of the strangest places. These have escaped from the cemetery into the ditch, were they running for their lives? Or just going to meet other Irises for a bigger party that would be noticed. There is a Stop sign here at this corner, some people actually stop here, some don’t, some just do a pretend stop. While I was at the corner..they stopped, I may have even slowed some of the traffic "What is that old woman doing in the ditch anyway?"


Blue eyed grass, such a sweet little thing, she is teeny tiny. She usually blooms earlier in June, this year she was a little late for her party..but had one anyway. She is a real challenge to photograph.

That is just five, I am sure that there were more. My Friend Aldo says ten per week, maybe even more ..well he would have been my friend if he had not up and died two years before I was born. I was not even a twinkle in my Fathers eyes yet..when the world lost a great Naturalist, who just happened to write my favorite book "A Sand County Almanac" Since I know this is not a book for everyone, I will just quote from it.

Prairie Birthday: During every week from April to September there are, on the average, ten wild plants coming into first bloom. In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of the anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them. He who steps unseeing on May Dandelions may be hauled up short by August ragweed pollen; he who ignores the ruddy haze of April elms may skid his car on the fallen corollas of the catalpas. Tell me of what plant-birthday a man takes notice, and I shall tell you a good deal about his vocation, his hobbies, his hay fever, and the general level of his ecological education. " Aldo Leopold

What a guy! I bet he would have stopped for just a minute..a moment..after all it was a birthday party for those Phlox:)

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One Response to Prairie Birthday’s

  1. abra la mente says:

    I am pretty sure A Sand County Almanac was required reading in my Ecology class, so I am guessing I must still have a copy around here. I should look for that; I could use a refresher in appreciating the everyday ecological wonders surounding us.

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