Wednesday, September 9, 2015


My parents are off on a bicycling adventure again and after dropping them off, I had to drive down to the farm to drop off their truck since they plan on riding their bicycles home... eventually. While on our way back home from that, we drove by a nature area that opened up perhaps five years ago that we have never stopped at. Fresh from our hiking expedition with our kids, we decided this was a perfect place to keep them in the mood for hiking.

The seed pod of something. Perhaps someone out there knows of what?

Since the nature center is on an old farm site that has been farmed for well over a hundred and fifty years, I guess I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised. It was chock full of native prairie grasses and flowers, ponds and hiking paths. We did a short loop hike and I frequently found myself wishing I had brought my camera instead of just my phone which I used for all these pictures. There was beauty everywhere.

Not a very good angle to see the large bug the spider was dining on

Unfortunately it was too late in the day and the kids were a bit grumpy so we couldn't see all there was to see without risking meltdowns. I'm sure parents agree that a nuclear meltdown seems more desirable than a child meltdown in a public venue. For five years we have been driving by this place without stopping. Now that we've stopped, I can't wait to get back there with my "real" camera and do some more hiking.

Prairie flowers everywhere


sage said...

Those prairie flowers are a reminder that fall is not far way, a sign that I miss seeing down here! It sounds like your parents have a nice gig--how far are they riding this trip?

Ed said...

Sage - I'm not sure of their mileage. They rode the Katy trail in Missouri which I think is the longest railroad trail in the U.S. However, they rode down the Missouri River from Iowa to the start of the trail and then up the Mississippi river after finishing the trail to get back home to Iowa. All told, I think they were riding for 15 days.

Vince said...

The Rudbeckia is lovely. You might call them Black-eyed Susans.

Remarkable just how rapidly things go back to real nature.

Ed said...

Vince - We do call them Black-Eyed Susans here. I'm sure all those areas were tilled up and reseeded with the grasses and wildflowers. I'm not sure how long it would take an area of prairie like that to re-establish itself naturally or even if it could, but if it can, I'm guessing multiple decades. My parents have turned various corners of their farm back into native prairie land and it took them a decade after the initial planting and doing frequent burnings to get it looking decent to where it could probably hold it's own against weeds and such.