Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Aug. 14, 2011, Nature Re-Etablished: From Field Back to Wet Prairie

Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica (Double-click on photo)
Driving along Kosciusko CR 600 N, west of Clunette, IN I saw one of my favorite wildflowers, Great Blue Lobelia, growing at the edge of an abandoned, wet field.  I had to stop, don my knee boots, jump the ditch and walk in to see what all was blooming in the field.
Swamp Milkweed (pink) Âsclepias incarnata & Boneset (white)
After seeing Swamp Milkweed, Boneset, Monkeyflower, Blue Vervain, Smartweed, Flat-topped Goldenrod, sedges and rushes I realized I was in an old field that was succeeding back to a  wet prairie plant community.

Swamp Milkweed and Monkeyflower
Monkeyflower, Mimulus alatus
Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata & Bonset, Eupatorium perfoliatum
Pennsylvania Smartweed, Polygonum pensylvanicum
Flat-topped Goldenrod, Euthania graminifolia & Boneset
 After I jumped back across the ditch and was taking off my boots, a good neighbor drove by in his pick-up and kindly asked if I needed help.  I replied that I had been in the old field to admire all the native plants.  He explained that the field hadn't been planted for the past three or four years and said that he hoped the owner would not try to farm the wet, peaty ground again.  I agreed completely.

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