01 June 2007

Our Tall Grass Prairie

Note: It is Feline Friday, and you can read Lily's post below. I had planned to save this one for the weekend, but the prairie looked so beautiful last night that I just had to share it this morning. I'm not trying to steal attention from Lily's Feline Friday post. I swear!

Edited to add: If you click on this collage, it will enlarge and you can see more detail.

How fortunate I am that every day, I can walk or bike through a prairie restoration area, right in my own neighborhood. Over the years, I have learned how important areas like this really are. Historically, there were over 30 million acres of tall grass prairie in Iowa. In fact, 150 years ago, 85% of the state was prairie. But today, as a result of agricultural development and urban sprawl, only .1% of this prairie remains. The prairie in Iowa is on the verge of extinction.

In our neighborhood, several large areas have been devoted to prairie restoration. Experts planned and seeded these areas with native plants, flowers, and trees. Over the years, the prairies have matured and become a haven for many different kinds of wildlife. A bike and walking path gives neighbors ready access to all of this beauty.

Last evening, I walked through the prairies and snapped a few photos. Right now, only a handful of flowers are in bloom. But wait a few weeks and the prairie will be a blaze of color. A few evenings ago, I walked through it as the sun set. Fireflies began to emerge, covering the entire prairie with tiny golden jewels. An amazing sight, truly.

Every day I am thankful to have access to this unique beauty. I have great appreciation for the work that is being done across our state to restore areas like this. What a treat it is to be able to visit this ever-changing landscape every day.


Cindy Andrews said...

I love your blog! Thanks for the great photos.

Janelle said...

Beautiful, beautiful pictures! I'm so thankful for the prairie restoration projects...it is such a tragedy that so much of this irreplaceable ecosystem has been destroyed. You're lucky to live in the gorgeous Midwest!

Lynn said...

You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area. I bet it is breathtaking.

Rachael said...

What a beautiful area to be able to visit!!

Kelly C said...

wow... gorgeous pictures! How lucky you are to see that daily!