Theodore Roosevelt National Park: up close

So after the encounter with the buffalo, we got back to camp, cooled off, cleaned up, and just hung out for a while. Had to decompress for a while, rehydrate.


When afternoon started to fade into early evening, I knew the angle of the sun would be perfect for some shots of the plants I had seen on the Little Mo Trail. So I grabbed the camera bag, jumped on the bike, and pedaled over to the now entirely-deserted trail.

***


It was certainly my own private prairie now, and even the surprisingly hot sun couldn't dampen my spirits as I did one of my favorite things when around plants: took lots of macro shots!

I have to admit that many of these plants are unknown to me, so if you can ID any of them, please let me know in the comments.

This does not look like something good to eat:


White sap means latex, an irritant. Protection to keep the flower buds from being eaten perhaps?

Yellow was the predominant color for blooms:






It wasn't the only color though, as the purple of these amazingly small Liatris really jumped out at me:


The plants were maybe 10" (25cm) tall, some only 6" (15cm) or so!


Is it environmental stunting, or are these a tiny species? All of my Liatris species get at least 2' tall, maybe double that!

There were critters here too; I saw a few birds and insects:


The "clicking" grasshoppers make a much different sound than the ones we have at home. Disconcerting at first as it sounds a bit like the crackle of electricity but I eventually got used to them, as I heard them everywhere we went on this trip:


Not surprising that there would be plenty of grasshoppers here...

...for as you might guess, grasses made up the majority of the plants:




Lots of wonderful seed heads too, catching the early evening light exactly as I had hoped they would:







So much to look at -- I could spend hours out here!




I didn't spend the entire time bent over the plants though, as the view as a whole was quite special to:


I've often thought that my dream house would have a large prairie or grassy field in front of it.

Now I know that it will.

(Although it doesn't have to be in front.)

.

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Teri  – (August 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM)  

Very, very nice shots!!

Hubby isn't here to ask, but I think you latexy plant is called leafy spurge. NASTY stuff that is taking over areas up in N Central part of the state.

Alan  – (August 29, 2013 at 11:01 AM)  

Teri -- I forgot to mention that the first photo is the same plant as the latex-oozing one.

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (August 29, 2013 at 2:28 PM)  

I'm glad you went back in the evening to take these photos. The view in the last picture is so beautiful.

scottweberpdx  – (August 29, 2013 at 6:59 PM)  

Absolutely gorgeous photos...I want my house to have a prairie/meadow too!

Teri  – (August 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM)  

Duh... I just remembered my BIL has a botany degree. He'd know the plants of his home state. I'll send him the link to this post and ask him to ID them for me.

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