Essay and photos by, Jill O'Brien
If one is looking to regenerate the prairie - rain sure does help! In the past two weeks we’ve received almost eight inches of precipitation. Layered with days of warm sunshine, the prairie has turned into a paradise.
Although the recent "Flower Moon” wasn't visible, the prairie flowers sure are, sprinkling the pastures with color, like confetti on a cupcake. And the animals and birds are content in their ocean of grass, and we (ranchers) can all take a deep breath, knowing that their food supply is plentiful.
Here are a few photos of our “Prairie Garden” that were taken over the last couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy them!
Box outline in photo above indicates buffalo herd.
Playas are full, spilling out onto the pastures.
A Mourning dove catches a breeze on a hillside, with her nest not to far away.
The calves are gaining confidence, gathering together in play groups, while keeping close to their mom's.
The Wild Onions are everywhere this year. I also found two flower species that I had not seen before, Meadow deathcamas (right corner) and Breadroot Surfpea (above).
The buffalo shed their woolly coats in the spring and their fur can be found in clumps all over the prairie.
The big bulls still linger at the herds edge, waiting for the calving season to end and the rut to begin.
You can also find little boys and their grandmas on the prairie too, especially when it's a good day to "go fly a kite"!