Saturday Jason and I led a field trip to Simpson Prairie near Crawford, TX. (Yep, that Crawford.) It was so beautiful. I took tons of pictures, but my fave is this one of some Barbara’s buttons. They are so fragrant — wish I could bottle up the smell up and save it for later. Mmmmmm. I like it so much, I changed my blog banner, ha ha!
The prairie is always changing too — season to season and year to year — Mike, the owner, said he’s never seen this many winecups before:
The calylopus in the little bluestem looked especially fine, too. Keep in mind that there’s been a 2-year drought. Mike said they got about around 20 inches last year — with 6 of those inches all on one day so they didn’t do much good.
Then after the last of the field trip participants pried themselves away we visited with the owner across the street who has another beautiful prairie remnant.
Then after lunch we went with Mike to meet Mr. & Mrs. Whitney. They have a 100 acre prairie that has the most big bluestem I’ve ever seen in one place.
It also has some mighty fine wildflowers:
After the prairie tour, Mr. Whitney took us to a special dewberry patch that has white dewberries. Yum. For those who don’t know, dewberries are like blackberries — only better!
Then after thanking Mr. & Mrs. Whitney for everything, we drove around a bit hunting for some more prairie remnants. Just found a few patches of little bluestem. Then we said farewell to Mike and headed off down the road.
We just had to stop at the KCEN-TV station near Killeen:
Then there was just enough time to check out one last prairie remnant — it’s near Eddy, TX — just off I-35. It’s for sale, so it will probably be developed — it will break my heart to see the bulldozers get this place.
Still, a day bookended by Barbara’s buttons can’t be bad.
A special note: Seeing a Texas tallgrass prairie is truly a special thing. Out of the original 20 million acres, less than 1% remains. If you know of a tallgrass prairie remnant, or would like to help save what little is left, check out the Native Prairies Association of Texas. While you’re on the site, feel free to sign up to be notified of field trips — you don’t have to be a memeber to come, and we’d love to show you one of these jewels.