Monday, September 07, 2009

Weekend Safari

We went hunting for Bison.








On a tall grass restored Prairie in south-central Iowa
we found a herd of 80.




The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge is committed to

"restoring and reconstructing tall grass prairie and savanna habitat"

of this region.





We walked on mowed trails through the grasses.





We watched many butterflies nectar on the wild red clover.

The Painted Ladies charmed me.

We read about a restored wet lands just north of the refuge.

At first light we were on the trails.

As the sun rose the fog lifted.



The Campion plant and Spotted Touch-me-nots


reminded me of how beautiful the woods


are in the morning light.



We are approaching Autumn.

The Pelicans are migrating.


This wetland is an important resting place.






Here, as on the open Prairie,
the grasses provide shelter for the birds and insects.
I watched as the Monarchs awoke.
Hundreds slowly began to start their day.
One by one they rose out of the grass and flew across the trail.









When we care for the land, bio-diversity returns.
White thistle provides nourishment for the migrating Monarchs
and for my spirit.




We traveled the state roads.
Serendipity lead us to five ancient Indian mounds.

A Great Spangled Fritillary and an Indian Pipe

watch over these ancient Indian burial grounds.

21 comments:

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry...just had to pop over before I go to bed....last time for a while...I am taking a much needed break...

This is a beautiful and spiritual post.....I felt for close to you as I read the words....we walk as one.....

The bison are lovely.......such huge creatures ....they look gentle.....

I think you have enjoyed this time....it seemed to be very magical.....

I am happy with my gardens....I have done so much these last ten days....removing turf....planting native ferns and wildflowers.....
much much more....I am on a journey, my road has a new path....my gardens will change, mother nature and I are working together......

Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs of such an inspiring place......

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A great post Sherry. I am not sure that big bull Bison was so happy to see you in his territory. He did a marvelous pose for you though.

We have a couple of those Indian mounds here. There was a tribe that came and consecrated the mound not too long ago.

I have only seen those Indiana pipes one time. A lucky find.

Aimee said...

I am happy to see so many insects on the thistles. Makes me feel better about my thistles!

Aimee said...

I am happy to see so many insects on the thistles. Makes me feel better about my thistles!

Judy said...

Sherry, such a great post! I love the dewdrops on the flowers!!! And the bison does look to be posing for you! I read about the mown paths through the grasses and flowers of the prairie - what a good idea! Most people are not going to stray far off the easy walking!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh my! You had quite a day! I can't imagine seeing the things you see but I would love to travel through that part of the country!

sweet bay said...

The prairie looks like it's painted in ribbons of color. How nice that there are mown trails to walk on.

Your photos are beautiful. I love those dewy flowers.

marmee said...

dear sherry,

you have seen so many wondrous things on the prairies...how i would love to see a herd of bison. they are magical creatures and conjure all kinds of images of the wild west of long ago.
these natural habitats are so important for the overall health of our great country.
how lovely to see the native plants on the prairie with plenty of wildlife to delight you. i can't imagin hundreds of awakening butterflies...how blessed to see it.i am happy for you and hubby that you had a remarkable time.
happy september.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Breathtaking! You always introduce me to new sights. I had never seen white thistle (only purple), or Indian Pipe, among others. Thank you for the beautiful inspiring photos, and always educating me as well! -Tammy

ChrisND said...

I think I can find a few bison...The prairie and wetlands were great...makes me want to get a couple more hiking trips in before cold nights in fall. Seeing the sites of restored lands and thinking about what they mean is inspiring.

Rose said...

Hunting bison, now that is a safari! Such beautiful images; I can only imagine what a peaceful walk this must have been. And to see all the monarchs flying above the trail must have been spectacular. We have some thistle growing out in back that Husband had fully intended to cut down, but didn't. I've noticed the butterflies and the goldfinches love it.

Kelly said...

beautiful and serene. thank you for sharing.

Grammy said...

Oh Sherry, That was beautiful. I love bison too. They are so awesome and bold. The butterflies were by her last week. I do not know if they are still around. But they are amazing. Thank you for stopping by. I love to here from you.

Chris said...

So many beautiful photos, Sherry. I love the dew on the flowers, And I always learn something from your posts - I didn't know that pelicans migrate! I hope you stay safe on your safaris.

ShySongbird said...

How different this all looks to the English eye Sherry but so impressive! How nice though that we share the lovely Painted Ladies and I do love your Monarchs, they still remind me of stained glass windows every time I see them.

A lovely place for your safari, I loved sharing it with you :)

ShySongbird said...

Dear Sherry, I had to pop back to say how connected we must be! Just at the moment I was posting my comment on your blog an alert came through to tell me someone had posted on mine! I truly knew it was going to be you :)

scienceguy288 said...

Sad to see the bison so reduced from their former glory.

Lori ann said...

I enjoyed that so much. you have such a gift, such beautiful photos.

I love your reverance for nature, life. What a world this would be if everyone thought like you.

Thank you for sharing this part of your world.

easygardener said...

Beautiful pictures. The walk looks fascinating and the Bison is forever associated in my mind with those wide open praires (which I have to imagine as I've never seen anything on that scale!).

Wendy said...

I must agree wholeheartedly with Cheryl - a beautiful and spiritual post. Your pics are striking with the light just so on the butterfly's wings, the dew drops looking like jewels, the bison appearing majestic in his stance, and the burial grounds peaceful yet with strange stirrings underneath.

I have never seen white thistle or Indian pipes. Thank you for sharing your Safari - I too learn much when I come here.

Barbara said...

Whilst catching up all the missed posts (I didn't visit blogs when I had a worm on my own blog!), I found the pictures of the bisons you met. These animals now are sometimes our "neighbours" here, as a young farmer has bought a few bisons some years ago. He's quite successful and now already has a big herd of these animals which are not at all common in our country.