Prairie Contrast

by Carl Strang

Mayslake Forest Preserve’s main prairie was burned in 2009, but not this year. Here is the prairie in the last half of May last year.

The prairie grew lush and green, unimpeded by the dead tops of the previous year’s growth. Though the prairie was not burned in 2010, its appearance in early June is striking nonetheless.

The clouds of white are formed almost entirely by one kind of plant, the foxglove beard tongue.

I’m pretty sure this plant did not bloom nearly so abundantly last year. I’m inclined to attribute this difference to the lack of a burn, but certainly the seasonal phenology has been much earlier this year as well: another question to file away for future study.

1 Comment

  1. SilverSeason said,

    November 2, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Thank you for your pictures. I did n ot understand the beauty of the prairie until I saw it in Nebraska and South Dakota last year. American writer Bess Streeter Aldrich celebrated its beauty in her novels:

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