Remnants

Posted by on Aug 31, 2022 in Featured Plants, Garden Thoughts | 0 comments

Remnants

Last of His Kind

Today, I read a story about the death of a man who was the last member of an indigenous tribe in Brazil. This man “known as the “Man of the hole” had lived in complete isolation for the past twenty-six years on the Tanaru indigenous land, deep in the Brazilian Amazon in Rondonia state.” Source: CNN

This completes the genocide of this man’s tribe. “The rest of his tribe was wiped out by several attacks since the 1970s mainly from cattle ranchers and land grabbers.” Source: CNN

I do not suspect this story will make headline news but reading about this man’s lonely and tragic death related directly to the message I wanted to convey with what will eventually be a series of posts related to hoary vervain and the remnants of the once vast prairies of the Great Plains.

When It’s Gone, It’s Gone

I often wonder how many of my fellow humans experience the same amount of exhausting sadness as I do when it is learned that some living entity has either disappeared completely or is on the verge of doing so. Granted one species or another will naturally die out for whatever reason as part of natural selection. BUT – what bothers me is when the human species is directly responsible for the extinction of any living organism.

With our ever expanding numbers and our insatiable desire for things, precious land is cleared. Habitats for millions of other living things vanish. Entire ecosystems are destroyed. I could speak of rain forests, swamp land, or temperate forests, but this series of articles will focus on the quickly disappearing North American Prairie.

The Mesic Prairie Systems Have All But Disappeared

According to National Geographic, all but 1% (ONE PERCENT!) of the Great Plains’ original plants have been replaced by farmed grasses. Source: Rootwell.com

Imagine an area stretching from Canada, through the entire middle to western US and then down to Mexico covered in swaying grasses. Mixed in would be the purples, whites, pinks, yellows and reds of various wild flowers. The vast array of plant, insect and animal species that once made up the North American prairie ecosystems must have been (and to a lesser extent still is) astounding! Flowers such as alliums, milkweeds, spurges, partridge peas, coreopsis, prairie clovers, prairie blazing stars, penstemons, royal catchfly, cone flowers and of course vervain. That is just a small subset of the plants that can call a prairie their home. Not to mention the multitude of insects, invertebrates and other animals!

Royal Catchfly from my own garden. There IS a story associated with this plant and I will definitely be sharing said story in a future post.

Interlude:

During my time on earth I only ever wish to make things better for others and for our planet. This is why I garden. I often embark on many online journeys researching plants or the other amazing forms of life that call my garden home. During one of these journeys, I was fortunate enough to discover the Prairie Ecologist Blog by Chris Helzer of The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His work, his words and photographs are so inspiring. I consulted him for advice for this blog and Chris’s words will appear in one of the next installments. In the interim, because of his exceptional photography skills, I reached out and asked him if had an image I could use demonstrating a healthy prairie showing grasses and flowers. This is what he sent. Thank you so much Chris!

A very healthy and diverse prairie. Photo compliments of Chris Helzer of the Nebraska Nature Conservancy

Hoary Vervain, A Prairie Plant for Every Garden

In time, I may create articles on many of the plants mentioned above but for this series of articles, I want to focus on the many attributes of Hoary Vervain. There are several reasons for this. To learn more of my thoughts on this plant, please be sure to visit next month when I shall continue with Part II of this article series.

I wish to thank all of you once again most sincerely and humbly for taking the time to read my garden musings. I appreciate your presence. Until next time, I wish for you and yours the very best in health and all things. Many blessings.

As always, here are some current photos of the garden. Enjoy!

The amazing beauty of the swallowtail butterfly.

My corn patch with mountain mint in the foreground. The mint attracts the pollinators who in turn help pollinate the squash nearby. I will be creating a post on this later when I discuss my three sisters bed.

The beauty of an emerging sunflower.

Some say love, it is a flower and I am so in love with this beautiful pink rose.

The story behind this photo: A random seed blew in and attached itself to this dried flower stem. I just love the intricacy of the design.

The beautiful down of milkweed seeds

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