PRAIRIE BLAZING STAR Liatris pycnostachya
The above picture is what ecosystem restoration is all about: the rescue of our vanishing biodiversity. What a payback to see that actually unfold over the years—biodiversity increases before your eyes!
Prairie Blazing Star is a member of the Sunflower family and also the tallgrass prairie. It’s a perennial corm (bulb) plant and is an important contributor to its ecosystem as all the blazing stars are excellent nectar producing species for insects and humming birds. Bees and wasps, and many others, love it. The butterfly in this picture is a Silver-Spotted Skipper. It’s only one of numerous great butterfly species that visit these plants.
Since it’s a plant that isn’t tightly lodged in the ground I have to be very careful in the winter when I strip the seeds that I don’t pull up the plant—defeats the purpose, right? My granddaughter Tullie and I gathered seed from local specimens within the range of our ecotype. We gathered the seed from neighboring off-site locations because Wafer Creek Ranch (WCR) had none remaining in its own seed/bud bank from the old days when it would have flourished in its own tallgrass prairie ground cover within the shortleaf pine-oak-hickory woodland. Over the years of gathering the seed from the plants on WCR and redistributing them, there are now many more plants on WCR.
Next to the plant in this image you will see the tall culms of Little Bluestem Grass, the flagship species of almost all tallgrass prairie systems.
Check out the wiki link for more info about this species growing on Wafer Creek Ranch (WCR). JA
Johnny Armstrong, Author
Rescuing Biodiversity (publishing in June 2023) tells the story of Johnny's attempts at Wafer Creek Ranch to preserve a vanishing Louisiana ecosystem and restore the animal and plant species that once lived there.
“An avowed student of life and restoration ecology, Johnny Armstrong expertly teaches us how to restore an imperiled southern ecosystem based on deep research, firsthand experience, and delighted observation of the species that return to his beloved Wafer Creek Ranch. Driving his devotion is the alarming truth that loss of biodiversity poses a threat on par with climate change and his impassioned belief that society can alter that trajectory, one acre at a time.”
Cindy Brown, Executive Director
Land Trust for Louisiana
“Up there on your bookshelf between Tolkien and Watership Down is where this book belongs. As an anthropomorphic adventure that winds through the realm of animals possessing courage, savagery, perseverance, and ultimately wisdom in the face of mounting evil threats – humans disconnected from the natural world – the tale is relevant, if not necessary.”
Kelby Ouchley, Author
Bayou Diversity: Nature & People in the Louisiana Bayou Country
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Shadowshine, An Animal Adventure
by Johnny Armstrong
#Fiction #Literature #LiteraryFiction #AnimalFiction