The Old Stuff

In the days of the old prairie, its perennial members reveled in dormancy and cast their seeds with a starry eye and a mind full of hope toward the next vernal season. Returning each growing season only from seed, those with a monocarpic life cycle, such as the obligate annuals, have no rooted memory of […]

Why prairies matter and lawns don’t

Prairies – those critically endangered and complex ecosystems understood by few and misunderstood and destroyed by millions of people. Lawns – those myopically obsessive (and evil) urban, suburban, and increasingly rural monoculture eyesores that displace native ecosystems at a rate between 5,000 and 385,000 acres per day* in favor of sterile, chemically-filled, artificial environments bloated […]

A time for goodbyes

As I leave Nebraska and make my way back south for the short term, I wave goodbye to the tall and mixedgrass prairies, goodbye to the sunsets and thunderstorms of the Great Plains, and goodbye to the coming fall, whose soul-stirring winds are carried in on roving, sweeping fronts from the north. Here is to […]

Fire, wolves, mountains, and a guest essay

I recently read author Philip Connor‘s latest published essay, “Smoke”, and as usual, it’s a great read.  Connors is currently in his 11th season as a fire lookout, stationed in a Civilian Conservation Corps-era fire tower in the Black Range of the Gila National Forest near Kingston, New Mexico.  Suffice it to say, he has a […]

A season in the Nebraska prairies, Part 1

Part 1 in a series of posts and photos showing my time here in Nebraska working as a Restoration and Stewardship Field Assistant for Prairie Plains Resource Institute. “The beauty here is often subtle.  It doesn’t knock you off your feet at a glance the way the snow-capped Colorado Rockies or the rugged coastline of […]