Taller than expected

I don’t know that I gave much thought to how tall prairie plants would be.  Tall enough that I could see them easily from my office window, I hoped. The prairie has delivered that and more. In fact, the height of the prairie is one of the things that surprises visitors most.

This past weekend, my granddaughter (and her parents) came to visit. We couldn’t resist a picture next to one of the prairie giants. Though it has not flowered yet, I am guessing that this 9-ft. plant is a Maximilian sunflower. Big Bluestem grass is also starting to set seed heads. Many Big Bluestem stalks are at least 6 ft. tall.

One person noted that the height of the prairie would have provided cover for buffalo and elk. Quite right.

During late-summer visits to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, there have been times when we have not seen any of the more than 100 buffalo that roam there. It had not occurred to me that they could be right in front of us but completely invisible – hidden by the prairie grasses.

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