Made a last-minute decision last night … to visit Prairie State Park today, to check on the spring prairie wildflowers. With our colder-than-normal spring, along with lots of rain, I suspect the spring wildflowers are late, but there’s probably some great color starting to show up right now. So, I’m checking it out with a daytrip to this very photogenic location. In the meantime, I’m reposting a blog post from this location that I made late last spring, after a one day trip there:
Last week’s photo journey was primarily to find/identify/photograph wildflowers that are growing in Missouri. The first stop was to a large prairie in southwest Missouri, Prairie State Park. You might remember some of my past posts from this spectacular prairie location that I first visited last fall (when photographing northern harriers and short-eared owls). I have read some great things about this place, so I thought it was time to really check it out … when wildflowers were in bloom. Great decision!
Spring and early summer wildflowers are beginning to carpet much of the 3,300 acres (should be a real treat to photograph the free-ranging bison in the peak colors of the summer wildflowers!) and I was pleasantly surprised to see so many different species. I was fortunate to find at least a couple dozen “lifer” wildflower species! Now I just need to identify them all :o)
Today’s post features one of my favorite prairie wildflowers, the Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea). I was fortunate 2 years ago, to find a single plant growing in the prairie near my home. But the display of the dozens of bright red wildflowers that were blooming across the Prairie State Park”s landscape was unbeatable! Here is a cluster of several Indian Paintbrush plants (~12″-18″ tall):
And some closer looks at individual plants:
Heck, not only was I impressed with the colorful display, but the local wildlife also were apparently enjoying it!
I’m hoping that I can get some more wonderful wildflower images from today’s trip … stay tuned!