All this time while we have been preoccupied with landscaping, the farm has been growing and changing in the background. We burned the fields in the spring but you would never know it because the growth is well over my head in many places.
This is the first year we remember seeing these yellow cone flowers, and they are everywhere! I need to look them up to see formally what variety they are, but there are these and also the purple ones that are more few and far between. There are short ones and tall ones, some with brown-eyed Susan shape, some with wide petals and some with skinny ones. The center of each variety is different. Some have a zillion little micro flowers filling the center, others have a single raised ring covered in pollen, and there are the velvety brown centers as well. I guess I need to study my botany to become better educated in what I see outside my windows.
What I think is cool is the way each new entry into the mix needs to rise higher than the last in order to get its share of sunshine. This leapfrogging growth raises the ceiling each week with new things to admire over the tops of the last. A result of burning the field is that we are finally seeing much more “Big Bluestem” grasses, after which the farm was named. They have red seed heads shaped like turkey feet and their stems are green with streaks of reddish-blue. Here is a picture showing some up close. If you stand back and look across the top of the growth, these delicate grasses appear suspended over the surface of colorful flowers and other grasses.
Planting our fields 3 years ago was a big investment with lots of hope that it would turn into something beautiful one day. Each year it has gotten more varied and more beautiful, and I am so glad we did it now. I don’t know how long it will continue changing each year, but I am enjoying the show.