Amber waves sweep the prairie

By Carol / August 30, 2010 /

Iowa is remarkably green for this time of year. An over abundance of rain has ensured we’re still cutting grass more frequently than the end of August normally dictates. My hostas look so fresh, you might imagine it is still early summer. The prairie, on the other hand, knows we’re approaching fall.

Grasses are taking over, pushing up seed heads and waving their brown/gold/lime colors over the prairie. Of the four grasses I seeded into the prairie, I’ve identified three so far – Big Bluestem, Indian Grass, and Sideoats Grama. Big Bluestem and Indian Grass are magnificent at six or seven feet and even taller. Sideoats Grama is more delicate and hidden in the lower levels of foliage.

I understand that as a prairie matures, the grasses take over, pushing the flowers out or forcing them to the prairie edges. My prairie is still some years from that stage.

If you were reading my prairie stories last year, you will remember my battle to eradicate the crab grass.  My efforts were futile as evidenced by the crab grass happily seeding itself across the prairie again this year. But I am not disturbed.

With a year’s experience under my belt, I know the prairie will persevere. And instead of looking down at crabgrass surrounding my ankles, this year I look up to enjoy the fronds of prairie grasses waving above my head.

Charlie Brown once commented that you can’t be sad if you’re looking up. I believe Charlie Brown is right.

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