Saturday, April 26, 2014

Barren Beauty


It's still early spring here, but I found my way to an oak savanna the other day. Strange to think of a savanna in Wisconsin, but it is the proper term for a lightly forested grassland where oak are the dominant species. Anyway, my focus is not on the trees in this series, although they will always be my favorites. No, this series is on the grasslands. 

As I was saying, the season is slow to arrive this year. The grasses are still brown, the trees barely in bud, and the much of the area is on the mucky side, but that did not stop me. 

You miss so much when you drive past areas like this at highway speed. The delicate beauty of the spent seed head, the hoof prints of deer in the soft mud, and the silence of the earth as she starts to push toward the sun. You sense none of this from the road. 

So remember that the next time you pass through an area that seems barren. Pause to consider the vast array of vegetation that has taken root in that open area, and although they are hidden from your puny human eyes, countless creatures call this place home. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, spiders, and beetles--they all live their lives in harmony with the plants that make oak savannas unique. 
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