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Showing posts from January, 2010

Strolling the Remnants: Sand Prairie Conservation Area

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My work through the Institute of Botanical Training takes me all over the Midwest. In 2009, I was working on a contract in southeastern Missouri that was about an hour from Sand Prairie Conservation Area. An admirer of prairies of all kinds, I visited the site twice over the season and would like to share my observations below.

Visit One: April 17:



A chilling spring breeze blows across the sand prairie.

Sun-warmed sand dislodges, rolls and re-accumulates as it gradually exposes and conceals scattered pebbles in this sandy scene.

Small dune-like hills stabilized by vegetation subtly gradate into expansive flats. The surrounding landscape speaks of the early Holocene winds and braided waters of glacial outwash that are responsible for the sandy deposition. A sprinkling of sand islands scattered within a matrix of wet forests of the Mississippi floodplain. Here, inches in elevation separate desert from swamp.

Weathered gray stems spinning in the wind draw solar systems in the sand.

The sten…