Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prairie perspectives

photo of Wild River State Park prairie undergoing restoration
© harrington
Hi. Thanks for coming. This is one view of the prairie restoration at Wild River State Park. Since we're now down to a very few days left in National Poetry Month, and I haven't finished sharing my Prairie Grasses Suite, today I'm including two stanzas. I hope you enjoy them and what's left of Minnesota's prairies.
photo of fiery sunset
© harrington
             Have you been there
When winter's melted snows
Inflowed prairie soils
Leaving aged grass
Dry as bison wallows and
Fast as pronghorns
Incendiary tongues
Raced across stale sod
Ending grasses fallow plight leaving prairie

photo of emerging cinquefoil
© harrington
                               Are you anchored by
Roots reaching deep into darkened soils
                                              beneath the
Odor of hot metal from the drought-dry
                                        dusty top-soil to
Organic layers damp and deliciously fecund
To catch nourishment
Seeping from wild fire ashes next to prairie

I suspect the similarity between ocean horizons and those of the prairie help account for my attraction to our prairies, wherever located. That and the waterfowl and other creatures that are drawn to prairie potholes. One thing I learned yesterday is that pasque flowers are found in Carlos Avery (somewhere) and, maybe, William O'Brien State Park, but not in Wild River (nor in Chisago County). Perhaps something about the soil grain size of the lack of limestone buffering in the Wild River soils. Another thing I learned is that the folks working on the restoration try to take into account things like the emergence of overwintering snakes and, later in the summer, hatchlings, when they figure out when to do a controlled burn. As a long time snake lover, I appreciate that. You might want to think about marking your calendars for August, when many of the prairie flows are usually in bloom on the Wild River prairie (and hatchlings are underfoot). Maybe I'll see you there? Thanks for listening. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily. Come again when you can.