The Prairie Meadow Comes to Life

After a long winter and a long awaited spring, the local prairie meadow is starting to come alive! I made a trip to the meadow about 10 days ago, but no signs of wildflowers were seen. Yesterday, I decided it was time to check the meadow again. At first glance, there were few signs of wildflower life. But the area was not control-burned this winter, like it was last year. So I began a tour around the perimeter of the meadow. As I walked, I began seeing signs of new life … particularly with miniature sunflower and coneflower plants beginning to peak skyward, through the remnants of last year’s dead grasses! A little farther and I saw what I was really wanting to see …

… Rose Verbena (Verbena canadensis), one of the most colorful wildflowers in the prairie! Although quite small, the verbena was vividly alive with color. But no comparison, yet, to last year’s display when I first found this gem of a natural prairie. Last year, the plants were easily 3-feet in diameter and standing up to 18″-20″ high, and covered with butterflies sipping the sweet nectar! Today’s plants were barely 8″ tall, but then we’ve been experiencing some colder-than-normal temperatures here. Here are a couple of images of these beauties:

 

Rose Verbena

 

Rose Verbena closeup

 

I’m really hoping that the display this year will blossom into a splendid sight, much like last year. Probably one of the main factors is our weather … if it ever decides to stabilize at spring-like temperatures, then it is likely that the display will be brilliant. Til then, keeping my fingers crossed!

I also found some white and yellow wildflowers blooming, but not quite sure of the identification yet. I’ll post some of those images once I’ve identified them.

 

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