Sunday, May 18, 2014

Barber County Bouquets

     Nearly 60 folks enjoyed a very pleasant day May 10 in the Red Hills of Barber County for the long-standing annual Barber County Wildflower Tour.  Sponsored by the Barber County Conservation District with help from long-time volunteers including Harold Cline and Courtney Pilkington, participants were first entertained by presentations about wildflowers in the region.  Then the group traveled to the Z-Bar Ranch in southwestern  Barber County to enjoy an up-close visit with the bison on the ranch.  Keith and Eva Yearout, ranch managers, told the group all about their bison herd and the interesting behavior and management needs of the prairie beasts.  After a fine lunch at the Eagle Township Park in the south part of the county, the group headed to Sam Beier's ranch where leaders took three different groups around a course marked with flags to identify wildflowers and a few grasses as well.  In spite of the on-going drought, about 40 plants were able to be marked with most of them in bloom.  Some of the plants are depicted in the images below.  I had the privilege of assisting Harold Cline and Carl Jarboe as group leaders for the tour.  Phyllis Scherich, co-author of the Red Hills Wildflower Pocket Guide was on hand to assist as well.  Special thanks to Cheryl Davis for a lot of background preparations and coordination!  All-in-all, it was a gorgeous day to be out in the Red Hills!

First stop--enjoying and learning about Bison on the Ted Turner Zbar Ranch

Keith Yearout tells of some of the special Bison biology on the Zbar.

I get to share some information about a wildflower with the young and the older.
Lambert's Crazyweed  
Penstamens were blooming.

Purple Ground Cherry

Scarlet-globe Mallow

Plains Hymenoxis

False (Wild) Dandelion
This wildflower guide is available through the Great Plains Nature Center, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Barber, Kiowa and Clark counties as well as additional offices in the region.

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