Thursday, March 27, 2014


Idaho blue-eyed grass, blooming in the prairie yesterday...

A lot of the excitement for me out in the prairie at the moment is not as showy as these lovely little native flowers, but there are shoots of all sorts of stuff coming up.  Clumps of larkspur I dug from the gravel of a drainage ditch last Spring appear to have survived, and Brodiaea douglasii is coming back with a vengeance...

You can't see much unless you look closely--click on the image to see it larger--but there are hundreds of little green sprouts here.  Each one is a Douglas hyacinth (aka "Brodiaea douglasii") that come up from a very deep bulb (I have never been able to move them, just encourage them to move north from the fencerow).  For years they are just a plain green shoot, but then they put on their show, which is pretty spectacular.  Similarly, in an area previously devastated by voles, the Sisyrinchium (aka, "Idaho blue-eyed grass") has spread itself and is well on its way to being a "drift."  All the green shoots you see below are Sisyrinchium.  These areas have so much exposed dirt because the dead annual grass from last year was raked off last fall.  A lot of seed is on there as well, but in the first year, it doesn't usually show until later.

The expanse of brown makes me seem like an unrealistic optimist, I suppose, but I see a lot of promise out there.

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