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Prairie Garden

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! 

Cheyenne RiverBox outline in photo above indicates buffalo herd. 

Bison in PlayaPlayas are full, spilling out onto the pastures.

Wildflowers

Mourning dove
A Mourning dove catches a breeze on a hillside, with her nest not to far away. 

Buffalo Cows with Babies
The calves are gaining confidence, gathering together in play groups, while keeping close to their mom's. 

Breadroot Scurfpea
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).
Bison Herd

Wild Flowers

Buffalo Shedding
The buffalo shed their woolly coats in the spring and their fur can be found in clumps all over the prairie.

Big Buffalo Bull

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"! 

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19 comments

  • What wonderful photographs! Having grown up in Gordon, Nebraska, I really appreciate seeing them. Thanks for sharing them with us all.

    Danny Ladely
  • I was also wondering if the bison hair can be spun into yarn or used for felting?
    Thanks for sharing these photos with us.

    Monique d'Auteuil
  • Enjoyed the photos — thank you! Can the bison hair be used for anything?

    Joyce Cross
  • Miss Jill

    How lovely. I love imagining the land where your family has its herd. Such peace and Centeredness

    Rebecca

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