Monday, October 14, 2013

7. Restoring Bottomland Prairie 7: By September, Annual Weeds Predominate

Creek Field dominated by horseweed,
thistles, & foxtails.
Indian Blanket peeks through at bottom left.
Gaillardia pulchella amid the foxtails
Photos taken on Sept. 24, 2013 show the Creek Field awash in annual & biennial weeds--foxtails, horseweed, and thistles.   Still, some wildflowers, such as this Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) persist, while the riparian buffer next to the Creek Field shows the good things that are in store.   That buffer, seeded back to native 5 years ago, used to look like the Creek Field--choked with annual weeds.   But now the native grasses are coming to the fore.  The contrast between the new and maturing restoration is evident in the photo below.
To the left of the pathway is the newly seeded Creek Field,
dominated by annual weeds.  
On the right, is the riparian buffer,
seeded 5 years ago.   Native perennials predominate!!! 

6. Restoring Bottomland Prairie 6: Early Summer: Coreopsis

The Creek Field, July 7, 2013   Scott Bean Photo

 Coreopsis tinctoria comes to the fore in late June and early July.   However, tucked in among these gorgeous native annuals and already visible are the foxtails that later in the summer will come to tower over the flowers.   Still, this first stage in prairie restoration is amazing--this cascade of beauty--lavish, prodigal, overwhelmingly generous--as if there were no limit to the amazements to come!