Photo of the Week – May 22, 2014

Beautiful photos!

The Prairie Ecologist

Last weekend, I took advantage of a beautiful evening and went for a hike at Griffith Prairie, a site north of town owned and managed by Prairie Plains Resource Institute.  It was mostly cloudy, but I was banking on the clouds thinning before the sun went down.  They did.

Prairie ragwort (Packera plattensis) at Griffith Prairie, near Marquette, Nebraska. Prairie ragwort (Packera plattensis) at Griffith Prairie, near Marquette, Nebraska.

Griffith Prairie has been managed with patchy fire and relatively intensive grazing during the last couple of years, and experienced a severe drought in 2012.  As a result, the perennial grasses are pretty weak, opening up lots of space for wildflowers – both short-lived and long-lived ones.  Leadplant (Amorpha canescens), prairie clovers (Dalea sp.), prairie violets (Viola pedata) and other long-lived forbs are thriving, but are joined by a throng of more opportunistic species such as shell-leaf penstemon (Penstemon grandiflorus), false dandelion (Nothocalais cuspidata), windflower (Anemone…

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About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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