A Path through the Prairie Meadow

The prairie is finally tall enough that we were able to mow a path through it.   I walked ahead and the guy with the mower walked behind me.

Try it out!   It’s winding, and level, and goes through both the dry and the wet parts of the prairie.    The mowing guys will mow it every week, so it will stay accessible.

Watch for the flowers to start blooming.  There are Black-eyed Susans, Blue Vervain, and Evening Primrose which all should start blooming soon.   Self-heal – a small purple wetland plant – is already blooming in the wettest places.  We didn’t plant it – it’s a volunteer.

I’ve been weeding out some of the most undesirable weeds.  (Please don’t do any weeding in the prairie without talking to me first – you need to learn what you can pull.)  The prairie will probably have more weeds its first year because a lot of the “good” plants aren’t very big yet.  Once the prairie plants start to mature, they will tend to crowd out the weeds.

Watch for American Lady caterpillars on the Pussytoes that some of you planted last year.  Pussytoes is a short plant with leaves that are dark green on top, and fuzzy white underneath.  American Lady butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves, and their caterpillars eat them.  You’ll see small “nests” that the caterpillars build for protection.

As the caterpillars get bigger, they come out of their nests to eat.

Watch for the adult butterflies – they’re beautiful – a little smaller than monarchs.  Here are photos of one I saw at the farm a few years ago.

The top of its wings

The underside of the wings

Marcie O’Connor
June 22, 2010