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Wild Queendom

Prairie Notes:
March 28, 2010

For weeks now I've been feeling like an expectant father, pacing the halls of Tandy Hills Natural Area, waiting for Mother Nature to deliver Spring 2010. Trout Lilies were nice but, the "harbingers of Spring" have all but left the building, their trout-speckled leaves fading into the big green of April.

In their place, a circus of color is slowly setting up shop - unfurling, unfolding, unraveling and unleashing breathtaking acts from the depths of the limestone underground. Grasses, too, are silently twisting and drilling their way to the light above the wild queendom that is Tandy Hills.

Seeps are bubbling; creek-beds are making music with running water; Hawks, Monarchs and honeybees float under sunny skies; mammals, snakes and lizards are cautiously peeking out from their cover, getting ready for a spin on the wheel of life. Spring at THNA is alive and well.

Come on in and see for yourself.

PS: Come to the meadow on April 24th for Prairie Fest and help us, "keep it like it was."

Trout Lily class of 2010 is fading into the big green of April.

The last Trout Lily of 2010. (Erythronium albidum)

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium chilense) sprout soaking up some rays. One of over 80 native grasses at THNA.

The slender and delicate foliage of Prairie Celestial (Nemastylis geminiflora) breaking through the leaf litter,
Its magnificent flower (coming soon) blooms for a single day.

White Rosinweed nursery. (Sylphium albiflorum) One of the many "indicator" plants of a healthy prairie
that thrive at THNA.

Lotus milk-vetch (Astragalus lotiflorus) is an early bloomer at THNA.

Purple Paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea). The complex, spidery foliage is a work of art.

Purple Paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea). Caution: Wet Paint.

Who needs Bluebonnets? Purple Paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea) thrives at THNA.

Puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) unfurling in slo-mo.

Puccoon's tiny, trumpet-shaped, crinkle-edged blooms are less than 1" dia.

Rock music for nature mystics.