Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Spiderwort and yarrow

Late-spring flowers are beginning to emerge in the county line prairie remnant, so I found both spiderwort --- blooming bright blue --- and yarrow (just beginning to open white) when I made a brief stop last week headed home from Gwinn Cemetery.

Neither is rare nor fussy and you'll find both in roadside ditches and elsewhere, but they're certainly part of the prairie-savanna cycle, too.

Yarrow is native to both North America and Eurasia and flourishes in disturbed areas, too --- so some of the examples found are introduced weeds. But I like to think that modest examples found within Lucas County prairie remnants are native to them.

A game I sometimes play is to envision the landscape as it currently appears dressed as it would have been when EuroAmerican settlers first arrived. That's easy to do in the area between Derby and Humeston, then west to the old Gwinn settlement, because intensive farming has kept the land clear of invasive trees and brush except along drainages. Sky dominates.

It's possible to stand in the grasses and their colorful companions, now ankle- or calf-high in the remnant here, and envision the Gwinns, the Richmans and others standing nearby, too, in 1849 or 1850 and looking west across a landscape carpeted in spring green, pink, gold and white.

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