I was out hunting yesterday. I have very few locations to gather prairie smoke, so it was with a certain amount of anxiety that I set out to check my spots. It turned out to be a happy day! The smoke was ready, making next year’s planting assured!

My happy day was soon to become even happier as I came upon a new site supporting slender beardtongue!

Prior to this, I only had one location to find this gorgeous spring penstemon. I’m sure it’s out there, but the amount of travel and time it takes to explore all these places as the seasons change is too much to really have a sense of what all grows in each of them.

That’s part of what made my previous meter reading job special. Once a month all year long I would check my little prairie patches to see what was happening. I would never have gotten to know all these scattered remnants so well without that work!

One cannot visit a remnant once and come away knowing it. Knowing a remnant requires a relationship with that spans the seasons and the years. Unlike a flashy invasive that covers the hillside, wowing even those zipping by on the interstate, the residents of our native prairie remnants are often only known when we come near, slow down, and really explore!

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