More than a region on a map, North America's vast grasslands are an enduring place in the American heart. Unfolding along and beyond the Mississippi River, the tallgrass prairie has entranced and inspired its natives and newcomers as well as American artists and writers from Willa Cather to Mark Twain. The Tallgrass Prairie is a new introduction to the astonishing beauty and biodiversity of these iconic American spaces. Like a walking tour with a literate friend and expert, Cindy Crosby's Tallgrass Prairie prepares travelers and armchair travelers for an adventure in the tallgrass. Crosby's engaging gateway assumes no prior knowledge of tallgrass landscapes, and she acquaints readers with the native plants they’ll discover there. She demystifies botanic plant names and offers engaging mnemonic tips for mastering Latin names with verve and confidence. Visitors to the prairie will learn to identify native plants using the five senses to discover what makes each plant unique or memorable. In the summer, for example, the unusual square stem of cup plant, Silphium perfoliatum, sets it apart from its neighbors. And its distinctive leaf cups water after the rain. A gifted raconteur, Crosby tells stories about how humankind has adopted the prairie as a grocery, an apothecary, and even as a shop for love charms. Rounding out this exceptional introduction are suggestions for experiencing the American prairie, including journaling techniques and sensory experiences, tips for preparing for a hike in tallgrass landscapes, ways to integrate native prairie plants into home landscapes (without upsetting the neighbors), and a wealth of resources for further exploration. An instant classic in the tradition of American naturalist writing, The Tallgrass Prairie will delight not only scholars and policy makers, but guests to tallgrass prairie preserves, outdoors enthusiasts and gardeners, and readers interested in American ecosystems and native plants.
Features the full-text of a paper entitled "An Introduction to Ants (Formicidae) of the Tallgrass Prairie," written by James C. Trager and originally published in the "Missouri Prairie Journal" in 1998. Notes that the information is presented online by the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.
Author: Sylvan T. Runkel
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Release Date: 2009-06-01
This classic of midwestern natural history is back in print with a new format and new photographs. Originally published in 1989, Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie introduced many naturalists to the beauty and diversity of the native plants of the huge grasslands that once stretched from Manitoba to Texas. Now redesigned with updated names and all-new photographs, this reliable field companion will introduce tallgrass prairie wildflowers to a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts in the Upper Midwest. Each species account is accompanied by a brilliant full-page color photograph by botanist Thomas Rosburg. In clear, straightforward, and accessible prose, authors Sylvan Runkel and Dean Roosa provide common, scientific, and family names; the Latin or Greek meaning of the scientific names; habitat and blooming times; and a complete description of plant, flower, and fruit. Particularly interesting is the information on the many ways in which Native Americans and early pioneers used these plants for everything from pain relief to dyes to hairbrushes. Runkel and Roosa say that prairies can be among the most peaceful places on earth; certainly they are among the most beleaguered. Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie will inspire both amateurs and professionals with the desire to learn more about the wonders of the prairie landscape.
Author: John Madson
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Release Date: 2009-11-01
“It was a flowing emerald in spring and summer when the boundless winds ran across it, a tawny ocean under the winds of autumn, and a stark and painful emptiness when the great long winds drove in from the northwest. It was Beulahland for many; Gehenna for some. It was the tall prairie.”—from the “Prologue” Originally published in 1982, Where the Sky Began, John Madson’s landmark publication, introduced readers across the nation to the wonders of the tallgrass prairie, sparking the current interest in prairie restoration. Now back in print, this classic tome will serve as inspiration to those just learning about the heartland’s native landscape and rekindle the passion of long-time prairie enthusiasts.
Author: William R. Jordan
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 1997-03-01
Prairies are among the most severely degraded ecosystems on the North American continent, with virtually no original prairie land extant in a pristine state. Because of the amount and severity of environmental damage visited upon them, prairies have become a proving ground for the fledgling craft of ecological restoration.The restoration of ecosystems is a practical science, with little theoretical knowledge available to guide the work of practitioners. Information is acquired primarily through an arduous process of trial and error, and the need for sharing information is immense. The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook is thus an essential contribution to the literature.The book is a hands-on manual that provides a detailed account of what has been learned about the art and science of prairie restoration and the application of that knowledge to restoration projects throughout the world. Chapters provide guidance on all aspects of the restoration process, from conceptualization and planning, to execution and monitoring. Chapters cover: conserving biodiversity restoring populations of rare plants plowing and seeding obtaining and processing seeds conducting burns controlling invasive plants animal populations monitoring vegetation and more Other resources include a key to restoration options that provides detailed instructions for specific types of projects and a comprehensive glossary of restoration terms. Appendixes present hard-to-find data on plants and animals of the prairies, seed collection dates, propagation methods, sources of seeds and equipment, and more.The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook is a state-of-the-art compendium that can serve a vital role as a sort of "parts catalog and repair manual" for the tallgrass prairies and oak openings of the Midwest. Written by those whose primary work is actually the making of prairies, it explores a myriad of restoration philosophies and techniques and is an essential resource for anyone working to nurture our once-vibrant native landscapes to a state of health.
Author: Scott L. Collins
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Release Date: 1990
Genre: Social Science
Based on papers presented at a 1987 symposium, "Fire in North American Grasslands," cosponsored by the Ecological Society of America and the Botanical Society of America, this book represents an important contribution to key unanswered questions concerning the role of fire in grassland ecosystems: How often did fires occur in the past? Were they primarily natural or caused by humans? At what time of year did grasslands normally burn? How should fire be used as a management tool? What constitutes a proper prescribed burning regime both with and without grazing?
Presents "the cultural and natural history of the tallgrass prairie, examining the prairie's unique ecology and detailing recent efforts to preserve it. ... Excerpts from the diaries and letters of pioneers tell of both extreme hardship and the fierce beauty of the land, while a collection of songs, stories, and poetry--including Native American, cowboy, and settler sources--enrich the cultural view of the region."--Jacket.
Author: John T Price
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Release Date: 2014-06-01
Genre: Literary Collections
The tallgrass prairie of the early 1800s, a beautiful and seemingly endless landscape of wildflowers and grasses, is now a tiny remnant of its former expanse. As a literary landscape, with much of the American environmental imagination focused on a mainstream notion of more spectacular examples of wild beauty, tallgrass is even more neglected. Prairie author and advocate John T. Price wondered what it would take to restore tallgrass prairie to its rightful place at the center of our collective identity. The answer to that question is his Tallgrass Prairie Reader, a first-of-its-kind collection of literature from and about the tallgrass bioregion. Focusing on autobiographical nonfiction in a wide variety of forms, voices, and approaches—including adventure narrative, spiritual reflection, childhood memoir, Native American perspectives, literary natural history, humor, travel writing and reportage—he honors the ecological diversity of tallgrass itself and provides a range of models for nature writers and students. The chronological arrangement allows readers to experience tallgrass through the eyes and imaginations of forty-two authors from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Writings by very early explorers are followed by works of nineteenth-century authors that reflect the fear, awe, reverence, and thrill of adventure rampant at the time. After 1900, following the destruction of the majority of tallgrass, much of the writing became nostalgic, elegiac, and mythic. A new environmental consciousness asserted itself midcentury, as personal responses to tallgrass were increasingly influenced by larger ecological perspectives. Preservation and restoration—informed by hard science—emerged as major themes. Early twenty-first-century writings demonstrate an awareness of tallgrass environmental history and the need for citizens, including writers, to remember and to help save our once magnificent prairies.
Author: Daryl Smith
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Release Date: 2010-04-15
Although less than 3 percent of the original vast landscape survives, the tallgrass prairie remains a national treasure, glowing with a vast array of colorful wildflowers in spring and summer, enriched by the warm reds and browns of grasses in fall and winter. This comprehensive manual, crafted by the staff of the Tallgrass Prairie Center at the University of Northern Iowa, will be an essential companion for everyone dedicated to planning, developing, and maintaining all types of prairie restorations and reconstructions in the tallgrass prairie region of Iowa, northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, southwestern Wisconsin, southwestern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, northwestern Missouri, and northeastern Kansas. Focusing on conservation plantings, prairie recovery, native landscaping in yards and at schools, roadside plantings, and pasture renovations, the authors—who collectively have more than a hundred years of experience with prairie restoration—have created a manual that will be particularly useful to landowners, conservation agency personnel, ecosystem managers, native-seeding contractors, prairie enthusiasts, teachers, and roadside managers. A wealth of color and black-and-white photographs taken in the field as well as checklists and tables support the detailed text, which also includes useful online and print sources and references, a glossary, and lists of common and scientific names of all plant species discussed. The text is divided into five parts. Part I, Reconstruction Planning, provides an overall summary of the entire process, information about securing good-quality seed, and the design of seed mixes. In Part II, Implementing Reconstruction, the authors consider ways to prepare and seed the site, manage the site in its first growing season, identify seedlings, and evaluate success. Part III, Prairie Restoration and Management, deals with identifying and assessing prairie remnants, working toward a predetermined restoration goal, and managing restored prairie remnants and completed reconstructions, including prescribed burning. Chapters in Part IV, Special Cases, discuss the uses of prairie in public spaces, roadside vegetation management, and landscaping on a smaller scale in yards and outdoor classrooms. Part V, Native Seed Production, describes the processes of harvesting, drying, cleaning, and storing native seed as well as propagating and transplanting native seedlings. Although we cannot recreate the original blacksoil prairie, tallgrass prairie restoration offers the opportunity to reverse environmental damage and provide for the recovery of vital aspects of this lost ecosystem. Anyone in the Upper Midwest who wishes to improve water quality, reduce flood damage, support species diversity, preserve animal habitats, and enjoy the changing panorama of grasses and wildflowers will benefit from the clear, careful text and copious illustrations in this authoritative guide.
Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers is the ultimate field guide to wildflowers of the midwestern tallgrass prairie. This valuable reference enables all prairie enthusiasts to quickly and accurately identify hundreds of tallgrass prairie plants. Fully revised and updated to reflect new trends in conservation and plant identification, this remains the classic guidebook for prairie enthusiasts.
Author: William Least Heat-Moon
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2014-03-11
Three months on the New York Times bestseller list, PrairyErth is now in paperback. Robert Penn Warren pronounced Heat-Moon's Blue Highways "a masterpiece." Now Heat-Moon has pulled to the side of the road and set off on foot to take readers on an exploration of time and space, landscape and history in the Flint Hills of central Kansas.
Author: Harold Gardner
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2010-12-01
This work advocates the restoration of the North American tallgrass prairie, which is rapidly disappearing. Historical descriptions of prairie aesthetics are outlined. As we are experiencing a worldwide mixing of plant species, prairie restoration is particularly important. Plants alien to North America do not readily support insect populations, including all animal species higher on the food chain. Prairie restoration methods are described for amateurs, academics, and land managers. Some of the techniques described are growing crops for seed production, times of seed gathering for specific species, facile seed processing for amateurs, land preparation, segregation of seed into its preference for habitat, and required seed treatment for germination. Over 200 species are described that comprise the predominant species found in tallgrass prairie nature preserves, as well as degraded prairies. Some additional plants of especial interest are also described. The appendix tabulates all likely species found on prairies regardless of their scarcity. Safe fire management of prairies is described in detail. Finally, methods of controlling aggressive alien weeds by herbicides are detailed.