Prairapy Session

Kimberly Writes: I came home from the Midwest Native Plant Society's conference this weekend feeling totally inspired! Seeing so many people come together in celebration of native plants, pollinators, butterflies, singing insects - and just the wonder of the natural world in general - made my heart so happy, and filled me with such a sense of hope for the natural world. I am so grateful to Kathy McDonald, Jim McCormac, Ned Keller, Yvonne Cecil, and the entire team that organizes the wonderful Midwest Native Plant Conference. I'm thankful to have been able to attend two terrific programs by Cheryl Harner and Lisa Rainsong. (And Kenn's keynote was wonderful, too!) Thank you all for the healthy dose of inspiration and knowledge!

I decided to use my new-found inspiration as motivation to pull weeds in our prairie. Watching the transformation of half an acre of unmowed grass into a prairie has done more than restore habitat, it's restored something deep in my soul. When you're knee-deep and head down in an ocean of waving grass, your mind is clear, the sweat drips from an unfretted brow, and the best feeling in the world is when the stubborn roots of an invasive plant give way against your relentless tugging.

My back aches this morning, but the rewards were beautiful.

                                 Gray-headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
(one of my faves!)

Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum) shooting its stalk to the moon

And Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) loaded with pollinators!

And as I dragged one load of weed carcasses out to the edge, I came face to face with a little Viceroy caterpillar munching away on a small willow!

It was two hours of hard work wrapped in bliss, and the world seems like a better place this morning for my "prairapy" session!


  1. That is a very worthwhile session! Imagine the future for that area. Gardening is the key to balance. Glad you had that positive experience!


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