Continuing Education Hours

Last Thursday I made a trip across the state to Gray Summit, Missouri (just outside of St. Louis) for a seed collection/conservation class. This class was held at the Shaw Nature Reserve, a place I had not visited before. But I definitely will be visiting there again! This is a wonderful acreage (~5,000 acres, I’m told) of natural prairie and woodland wildflowers. Besides a Visitor’s Center, they also have a lab on-site for collecting, cleaning and storing seeds from all the native plants.

Having acreage myself, I have been expanding the wildflowers on my rural Missouri land and thought this seed collection class would be a great resource for learning how to collect the many and varied seeds that wildflowers produce. It was a wonderful class and and I learned a lot! We even had some hands-on collection of some woodland wildflower seeds, followed by using some of their lab’s equipment/tools for cleaning the seeds. And the best part … we were allowed to take the seeds home with us!

I will be sharing more images of the many different species of wildflowers that were in bloom at Shaw Nature Reserve, in subsequent posts. But here are a few “general” images I captured as we entered and traveled around the reserve:

Upon entering, there were many Prairie Dropseed (prairie grasses) growing near the Visitor’s Center:

Prairie Dropseed

A little later, we drove around the reserve and took some time to hike one of their woodland wildflower trails. In the center of the woodlands, there is a small pond with gazebo that caught my eye:


Near the wildflower trail, we came upon one of their historic houses that had native plants all around the house. These white shrubs really caught my eye! Not certain what they are, but the they may be white azaleas:

Unidentified white shrub

Unidentified white shrub

If you live or travel in the St. Louis area, be sure to check out the Shaw Nature Reserve! Over the next few days, I’ll share some of the wildflowers seen on the reserve.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 28mm-135mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO variable
  • Aperture variable
  • Shutter variable



Posted in Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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