I recently started working part-time at Prairie State Park near Minden Mines, Missouri, but the tall-grass prairie, and the park, itself, are nothing new to me and my family.
We have lived on the edge of the tall-grass prairie for nearly two decades now, and have visited Prairie State Park, over the course of that time, literally, hundreds of times. Our children attended Junior Naturalist Day Camp, annually, during their growing up years...the first time being before we even moved here...and our whole family, at one time or another, has volunteered at various park events. Three of our six children have worked at Prairie State Park, and two of them still work within the Missouri State Park system. Even I, myself, have worked at Prairie State Park in the past for a short time.
There are so many things that I love about the tall-grass prairie, and I'm excited to get out and experience them on a regular basis again. I decided to list a few of my favorite things, here, in an A to Z blog list. If you are interested, just click on each link below to see pictures of the various plants and animals that can be found on Southwest Missouri's tall-grass prairie.
A) ASHY Sunflower and AMERICAN Kestrel
B) American BISON and BULL Thistle
C) Prairie CRAYFISH, COYOTE, and COREOPSIS
D) DICKCISSEL and DUNG Beetle
E) EASTERN Phoebe and EASTERN Screech Owl
F) FIELD Sparrow and FROST FLOWERS
G) GREATER Prairie Chicken, GAYFEATHER, and GRAY-Headed Coneflower
H) HENSLOW'S Sparrow
I) INDIAN Grass, INDIAN Paintbrush and INDIGO Bunting
J) JIMSONWEED and Prairie JUBILEE
K) Prairie KINGSNAKE
L) Slender Glass LIZARD
M) Prairie MOLE Cricket
N) NEW ENGLAND Asters and NORTHERN Harrier
O) OX-EYE Sunflower
P) PURPLE-HEADED Coneflower
Q) Bobwhite QUAIL
R) REGAL Fritillary Butterfly, RATTLESNAKE Master, and RED-EARED Slider
S) SCISSOR-TAILED Flycatcher and SHORT-EARED Owl
T) TURKEY Foot (a.k.a. Big Bluestem) Grass
U) UPLAND Sandpiper
V) Prairie VOLE
W) WHITE-TAILED Deer and WESTERN Meadowlark
X) SphinX Moth (I know...I kind of cheated here...I really couldn't think of a better way to represent the Letter X.) (~smile~)
Z) ZEBRA Swallowtail Butterfly
Until next time...