Our naturalist guide mentioned several times that prairie ecosystems are dependent on disruption for survival. Without fires, droughts, and grazing, a prairie would be overgrown with forest. Because the meadow preserve is surrounded by development now, a controlled burn is out of the question. Mowing is the only way the ecosystem can be disturbed. Mowing is a way to stunt the invasive, non-native Johnson grass to let native plants have a chance.
I'm feeling like my mental meadow is getting overgrown and might be due for some disruption. It could be time to mow back some invasive, agressive non-natives.
Flower structure for the carrot family
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder