Monday, October 15, 2012

Changes in the Prairie Over Time

I've been visiting our local prairie preserve for a couple of years now and the summer of 2012 was different. It was a summer of drought, and when I visited this summer, the changes were noticeable.
Prairie April
Springbrook Prairie in April 2012
In our Tallgrass Prairie biome, the grasses should have been at least up to my chest and the majority of them were at my knees.  Certain areas that weren't burned have tall stands from last year next to the short ones of this year.  There are no credit cards in nature, so if the heat and drought were too much for one season, the grasses go dormant and wait for the following season.  Unlike our economic system, there is no unlimited growth in nature.

Springbrook Prairie in July 2012
It was also less a tallgrass prairie and more a tall forb (flowers or non-grasses) prairie.  In fact, the Golden Aster dominated the landscape by September because this species is drought tolerant.
Springbrook Prairie in September 2012
But, the prairie is resilient, like the rest of Nature, is resilient and will bounce back in following years.  I'm looking forward to tracking and comparing the changes in the prairie for 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment