Dennis has labored long and hard to eliminate the noxious weed sericea lespedeza from our pasture. Because we did not want to use noxious chemicals to combat a noxious weed, he went out every morning for two weeks to cut down the lespedeza that was choking out young big bluestem grass and other native plants. The cuttings quickly turned brown.
Now that the pasture has been set free its true beauty is revealed. Gayfeathers have almost finished their bloom, but the flowering spurge is going full tilt.
Annie accompanied us on a pasture walk last evening. Annie is a big golden dog but the pasture plants tower over her. In the next photo all we can see of Annie is her tail and parts of her head. (Look in the lower middle.)
While Annie and I enjoyed the view Dennis was still finding a few of the enemy to assassinate.
As the last light faded the big bluestem was silhouetted against the western sky. Nearly seven feet tall, it is emblematic of the tallgrass prairie, which was a 240-million-acre ecosystem before ranchers and farmers destroyed it.
We can never recreate that vast prairie but our little four-acre pasture can serve to remind us of what once was known as “the inland sea,” if only the Asian invader can be conquered.
Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer