Enduring spring rain has had a mostly positive effect on Tandy Hills Nature Area. (The negatives being, increased erosion due to a lack of trail maintenance and more mosquitoes.) On the plus side, the flora is more robust than last year when we had a very dry spring.
Among the species having a banner year, are Prairie Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum ssp. penardii) and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia). If you haven't been to THNA since Prairie Fest, you'll be surprised at how dramatically these two species have altered the landscape. Each grows 1-3' tall and are found in open woods and meadows. The Larkspur flowers resemble the garden variety and range from white to pale purple. Cone-flowers range from pale purple to rich ultraviolet.
As of May13, they are widely scattered throughout the park and in full bloom. They make an especially attractive couple, nestled in the grasses along side the dreamy, white, Prairie Bishops Weed (Bifora americana). Some of the prettiest colonies are easy to access on either side of the main trail, just north of the playground. Just follow the butterflies and bees.
Steal away to the meadow and get a look at this handsome couple before they fade into summer.