Mid-July color in the prairie and at home! by Fred Wooley

Over the years, I hear BHM director Nate Simons describe the colors of prairies at certain times of the growing season. It is fun to hear and feel his enthusiasm for just that moment of the year  and the colors we are enjoying.


Nate will say, “Ah, these prairie colors of late spring when spiderwort and beards tongue are starting to bloom, are just the best.” A prairie fen visit in fall will elicit an “Oh yes, the colors of fall fens are the best!” We enter and are treated to the blues of asters and gentians, deep greens of sedges and grasses, and browns and bronzes of developing seed ends. Right now, we are in mid-July.


Right now, I stop and do double takes at our own home prairie projects. The combination of just three common plants, butterfly milkweed, bergamot, and black eyed Susan is just stunning. So rich, they are. I think of Nate’s take on this time of year color. “Aww, this is the best,” he’ll say. And then late summer will come and there will be a new best!


Get out and enjoy mid summer’s colors and wait with eager anticipation, with Nate and the rest of us, for the next color show to come!

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