Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Beautiful Rebound

     This is a continuing series of the fabulous prairie recovery from the big fire. Recovery is not really the best terminology since fire is an integral part of prairie existence. Without fire, prairies become something else, choked with invasive trees and much less rangeland forage for cattle. In this case, the Anderson Creek Fire was so unfortunate for ranchers and people who suffered various losses; but, it was the best thing that could have happened for the prairie. The succession of joyous praise expressed by the native forbs and grasses is hereby further exhibited. All pics are from the burn zone of the big fire and show the amazing, natural regrowth.
Like for most of the Red Hills plants, the fire with the subsequent moisture has stimulated
  incredible flowering. Butterfly milkweed is prominent and provides quite a contrast to the dead cedars in the background. The grass regrowth has been tremendous!

Plains Spiderwort complements a lone Old Plainsman plant.
Like many plants, spiderwort has rarely been so prominent.

Hartweg's Evening Primrose is one of the showiest of
Red Hills wildflowers right now.

Leadplant is blooming profusely in good rangeland right now.
It is also seen in some of the unmowed road ditches.
It is an indicator of land that has not been over-grazed.

A red slope is covered in Cobea Penstamon.
Cobea Penstamon is perhaps the prettiest of Red Hills
wildflowers but that's so subjective isn't it?

Phyllis Scherich, current President of the Kansas Native Plant Society,
is not only an expert photographer but is the go-to expert on Red Hills
plants. As long-time rancher residents in the Red Hills, she and her husband
Dee have biological backgrounds besides first-hand experience at producing 
beef along with their sound land conservation ethic. She practices her skills
on an evening primrose in front of Creamy Milk-vetch.

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