Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recovery

Mollie (the wonder dog) and I were gallivanting around the local Winfield industrial park recently looking for treasure. I like to take Mollie out to where my workplace headquarters are in order for both of us to get exercise. Mollie a red border collie needs to have as much running and herding as she can get to stay happy, and I also like to search for native plant treasure. As you can see from the image below the difference between the mowed acreage to the right and the non-mowed to the left. The left being a vacant lot with piles of excavated soil from a water retention pond created in the background of the image. The owner has a manufacturing plant to the left of this lot. This year the company has decided not to mow this area except near the access road. I'm positive this is done not to let the prairie revive but to save money.
Therefore, by allowing the vegetation to grow the prairie has grown back to it's former glory. This  image is taken in the other direction. Notice the manicured turf in the background with Pinus nigra and Quercus rubra trees near the access road. Now this is what border collies love! Mollie's barking:where's the sheep? All you give me to chase are squirrels!
What a beautiful scene. Prairie recovery at it's best with limited resources. Sure there are a few non natives and noxious weeds, but overall it's pure. Alchillea millefolium-western yarrow, Koeleria macrantha-June grass, Vicia villosa-hairy vetch, Psoralidium tenuiflorum-wild alfalfa, Amorpha canescens-Leadplant, Mimosa quadrivalvis - catclaw sensitive briar, Dalea purpurea- purple prairie clover  and various other grasses, milkweeds, too numerous for me to ID.
 
I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however I don't understand why more people don't do this. Common yarrow and trifoliate clover.
Amorpha canescens
 Mimosa quadrivalvis-Catclaw Sensitive Briar, when you touch the leaves they shrink.
Koelera macrantha-June grass, Mimosa quadrivalvis-Catclaw sensitive plant, and Downy brome.
Delphinium carolinianum-Prairie Larkspur
Ahh, time to find treasure in this pile of debris.
What ya got in the truck Mr. Nelson, my wife asked when I returned?
Why treasure of course, mate! 
I'm happy to say everything has survived except the Snow on the Moutain(which I'm sure is too aggressive anyways).




49 comments:

  1. I am a bit jealous! The treasure looks very attractive!

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  2. AH, you did indeed discover treasure. I've often wondered why manufacturers maintain huge tracts of grass that needs to be mown and doused with chemicals when they could just plant a prairie and be done with it.

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    1. Agreed. Thanks for the comment. I tried to comment on your blog but couldn't find out where?

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    2. Hi greggo-there isn't a comment area on my blog. I had a "spammy" guy that set his sights on my blog and it was a nightmare. I appreciate the visit.
      I also meant to write that the Mimosa quadrivalvis looks a lot like gomphrena. Not knowing plants, are they related at all?

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    3. I would say no. They are not in the same family. thanks for the comment, Sue.

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  3. A little pocket of prairie putting on a show.

    Nice that you had such good luck with your transplants.

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    1. Yes, I/m happy. Some of them look tired, but alive.

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  4. Exactly why I'm letting my grass grow, Greggo. And Tuesday's blog, which I've already written, is about another type of payoff that I think you'll enjoy. Stay tuned.

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  5. Nice selection of prairie plants! I'm jealous about the prairie larkspur - I had some staked out nearby, in a roadside ditch. I was going back in a couple weeks to collect seed...but the county road crew decided that it was necessary to mow it all down.

    I've got Snow-on-the-Mountain here, if you want to try to get some seed later in the season...or you're welcome to dig a little up. (It's an annual, though, so seed might be easier.)

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    1. I drive back and forth for work every day between ark city and winfield. I really enjoy the native species along the road....and then when they they reach there peak....it's time to mow. I have noticed in the last few years however they don't mow as often. My mother is adamant about not planted snow on the mountain, she thinks it so aggressive. Of course she doesn't care for the mexican feather grass either.

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  6. It's incredible how quickly nature can bounce back sometimes. I think the prairie is beautiful. I have dalea purpurea in my garden and it's been frustrating trying to find the right spot for it but I think I've finally succeeded. LOVE the mimosa. Every garden should have pink puff ball flowers!

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    1. Yes, I have the same issues with the Dalea. On the prairie it looks best buried in the tall grass. It's vase shape is unique, and hard to fit. The blooms are cool however, and I've combined it with Northern Dropseed and mexican feather grass. I keep you posted on that combo.

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  7. Like pirate's treasure washing up around your ankles on the beach.

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  8. Dog's happy, prairie plants are happy, you're happy -- what's not to love? Other than dalea, delphinium and yarrow, so many of these beautiful plants are unfamiliar to me, like that great amorpha.

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    1. You should see the Amorpha when is blooms.

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  9. Nice plant rescue! I'd say the cost cutting measures are a win-win in this case.

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  10. The prairie plants have their own unique beauty--especially when you view them up close. Love the Mimosa! I like to view prairies, but I have to admit I'm a bit cautious about walking in them, because of potential ticks.

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    1. Ticks you can usually find, however it's the chiggers that get me.

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  11. I like that you're preserving those plants...you never know when a strip mall is going to be placed on top of them. One of my favorite things about living on the 'edge of town' like I do is all the open fields full of wildflowers. Right now the fields are covered in all types of yellow varieties and they are just so sunny and happy looking!

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  12. I too like 'weeds' and think them beautiful. The prairie is a wonderful thing.

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  13. Well done Greggo! I hope you got some of that white larkspur. Oh of course you did. As a person who occasionally digs plants from ditches, I am completely impressed.

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  14. You made a great haul.
    I like the mimosa the best. We have some on the sides of the road here, but not where I can get to it.
    Snow on the Mountain is the only thing that bloomed in the meadow and the rock bed of the dry creek last summer in that awful heat. I've tried planting some in the garden, but I think I have too good soil. It seems to like the worst conditions possible.
    The photo of the yarrow is beautiful.

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    1. Your probably right. I think I forgot to water the snow.

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  15. Nothing better than plant treasure! I wonder if anyone at your workplace wondered why you were out there with a shovel! :)

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    1. Not so much my fellow empployees, but the neighbors thought I was nuts.

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  16. I am glad I made it here to see this post. I have been wanting to see some of our local prairies, but haven't made it. I don't have access to an area where I can dig plants, though. Did you get some of the prairie larkspur? I am wanting to find some of that. A guy at the arboretum said to get some seeds. He said they can't sell plants, because they go dormant.

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    1. Sue, no I didn't move the larkspur. It looked too fragile. I need to go back and get some seed. Hopefully I can find it again. If I do I'll send you some and gaia too. I wonder what he meant about going dormant?

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    2. I guess the plant goes dormant after it blooms.

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  17. Thanks, Greg, That would be awesome if you could send some seeds, otherwise, I was going to find some from a catalog. My own garden larkspur plants die after they bloom. This year, I am not going to let the ones in the front yard go to seed at all, so I won't get more in that area.

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    1. ok..I'll see if I can find some more treasure matey.

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  18. Great shots, gallivanting! brilliant, its a long time since I heard that word used. It usually came from my mother and had insinuations that we were up to no good.

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  19. Nice post! On our acreage, we planted many evergreens and let most of it go wild. Ticks, yes, but also beautiful grasses, wildflowers and "weeds" that are actually considered medicinal plants. And of course there's the fact that it attracts the birds, butterflies and wildlife. A great reason for letting it go natural!

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  20. Temperate country prairies or meadows really look lovely like what you showed. But here in the tropics it is a bit messy, yours are like organized chaos, ours is chaotic chaos! And that is a big loot you got there!

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  21. I have a spot near a railroad track where I collected several plants. Some of my other collection spots are now under concrete. Ahh, "progress".

    Looks like you collected some real treasures. I hope you are able to find and grow some prairie larkspur seeds. I dug up a plant near a different railroad track in town about three years ago. It comes up later and has fewer flowers each year and I have yet to get a seed to sprout.

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  22. Ah, such riches... treasures just waiting to be taken home and planted with love!

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  23. You really show how easy it can be to return degraded land to native plants. Nature is out there just waiting to happen.

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  24. That's lovely to see the land healing. Hopefully the natives can triumph and squeeze out the invaders. Mollie is a beauty, too. She might enjoy herding the puppies--they are white, like sheep, and need herding pretty badly sometimes.

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  25. I adore this, Greg. I agree with the rest of your commenters that corporations need to do more of this kind of thing. Let the bees and snakes and other critters have their land back. I'm curious what the yellow spiky flower is. Nearby my home is a newly-developed water treatment facility. It is very environmentally-friendly with pools and waterfalls and bridges. One of the plants I noticed was the is same yellow beauty. From the looks of it, you didn't take any home with you. I do see a milkweed though. If I was with you, we would have fought over it. :) Love your dog!

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    1. The yellow plant is trifoliate clover. Which is often prevalent as an invader along roadsides, not sure of the botanical name. Thanks for the comments.

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  26. Your 'prairie' is lovely. We have the Koelera macrantha here, I've planted some in our small suburban garden. Sometimes you just have to do what you can.

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    1. I'm very pleased with the June grass also. I definitely will plant more.

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  27. Too Cool! We have most of that , but I havent seen the larkspur around here yet, Not that that means it isn`t here. You`re a guy after my own ways, Greggo. I`m arrowhead collector and hunter(treasure), A metal detectorist(more treasure), and a native plant digger( even more treasure!). Happy Hunting !

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Thanks for leaving any comments, they are always welcomed. Sorry I had to add word verification as spam was becoming a huge problem. Greggo,