Friday, August 19, 2016

Restoring Bottomland Prairie: The Animals of August

With all the recent rains, the plants in the bottomland are 12 feet tall--and climbing.

This exuberance of growth spills over into an abundance of animal life--birds, insects, mammals.    

Earlier in the summer I was totally focused on plants.   Now I can't set foot on the bottomland without my attention being grabbed by someone with feathers, fur, or wings.  

In the clips above,  Dickcissels gather atop Sawtooth Sunflowers; a Silver-spotted skipper feeds on a Tall Thistle; a young deer blends in with the vegetation; quail travel from one buffer to another (over their heads dragonflies are hunting, and if you look closely, you can see the clouds of gnats they're after) ; a Southern Plains Bumble Bee gathers nectar & pollen; and finally, while cicadas out-do each other calling, American Painted Ladies (Vanessa virginiensis) swarm by the pole barn.  

So what if drought is built into the tall grass prairie and will certainly be upon us in some future August?

Exuberance is now, and we're all part of it!  

Thank you to Dick Beeman for confirming the identification of the American Painted Ladies!

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