Native pollinators need a constant food supply throughout the growing season.  Various plant species take their turn to offer pollinators needed flowers.  Below we highlight three flowers that we are currently enjoying in our pasture.

Driving by a prairie you would easily notice the maximilian sunflowers, but would you see the butterfly?

sunflower

Take a walk among the tall grass and forbs and this time of year you can find the small white flower of heath aster.

asterflower

A new find this year in our pasture is prairie gentian.  Wondering how I missed this showy purple flower in past years?

Prairie_Gentian_plant

Prairie Gentian Flower

Could it be that the reintroduction of grazing, hoof action and disturbance has stimulated the seed to sprout?  Or possibly the result of the drought we experienced in 2012?  Probably a result of multiple factors that we don’t understand, but none the less, beautiful to look at and the cows thought they tasted great.  Not to worry, we left patches of these flowers ungrazed so they could go to seed for future enjoyment.

These photos are ok for an armature like myself.  If you have not taken the time to view Chris Helzer’s Prairie Ecologist blog, you are missing out on world-class photos related to prairies’!  Take the opportunity to check out his close up photos of insects, flowers and all things prairies’.

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