expansive prairie landscaping demonstration gardens part of Cajun Prairie meeting field trip, Saturday

Smack dab in the middle of a sea of rice fields, between Mamou and Eunice is the Lacassinne National Wildlife Refuge prairie restoration, planted in an old rice farm, organized and developed by Dr. Charles Allen, Refuge Director Vickie Graffe, and members of the Cajun Prairie Society and other volunteers (began in 1996).

duralde eunice-mamou

you can see if you open up the image, how the prairie garden is surrounded by farm fields. The property is outlined in the center of the frame.

duralde eunice-mamou 1

notice the prairie vegetation is a different color than other wild areas, the tree vegetation, in dark green


This is the central part of the property, where we have done our work most demonstrative work over the years. The public county road makes a hairpin curve, on the right, and our road comes in from there, the east (center of the frame on right).

duralde 2

There’s a 400 foot plowed strip where Charles seeded prairie diversity. Its loaded with thousands of Kansas Blazing Stars in bloom right now. Our recent work area, in 2012, the 2 acre square area is our latest creation there, designed by Dr. Allen and myself. We had plowed three times, as of this photo.


we plowed the next year, too. this is 2014, with the demo plot planted and the paths between, mowed. Individual 10x 12 plots, with 80 different species, two years old.


the wiry stems of Narrow Leaf Bluestem, an endemic grass with great horticultural character. Its only found in the central Gulf Coast, yall. Duralde Prairie Project, Duralde, Louisiana, August 1st, 2015.


Flat topped Goldenrod, Duralde, August 1, 2015

http://www.cajunprairie.org for more info


collected some seed in a bog last week. its dry enough to get in one with a machine. nice. Carolina Thistle in my bog, ready for a’pickin. St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana


from top, clockwise, White Topped Sedge, Lady’s Hatpin, Xiris, and the urn shaped seed capsule of Rhexia alifanus. saweet.


burned at Talasheek Mittigation bank with the amazing Kurt Kotteman. One day we did about 90 acre and the other day we did 200. Usually, I am laying down ten foot strips of fire with the drip torch. With Kurt, I was good a hundreds of feet. It was quite fun.


we were taking advantage of the dry weather and burning where we couldn’t normally burn; cool herbaceous vegetation in the Hammocks, the Baygalls.


You can see our smoke. it went for miles. Kurt works with the state forester airplane. the airplane pilot tells kurt what it looks like from above. They use the hammocks as fire breaks since they are the last places to dry and the grass fuel is nonexistent there. In the foreground is bluestem and several year-old Long Leaf pine seedlings. Talisheet is five thousand acres or something close, north of Abita Springs, Loosiaana.


made the trip to Livingston Alabama this past week to see my garden there. The University of Western Alabama Black Belt Garden. Its awesome. This is the most killer spot in the garden, lots of cool grass and dense with biodiversity. Some areas have not matured yet, but this patch, about 30 by 20, is intense. The old Cambell House, in back.


soldiers of Silphium latifolium at attention, seven feet tall. All the genetics to this garden were collected and propagated from stands of prairie and pine transition, in Sumter County.


an adolescent Liatris squarosa with little Bluestem in the background


Gail Barton, who I assisted on this project, would remember the species, Button Blazing Star, I think, Liatris aspera, with Silphium gracile in yellow. The buds of the Blazing Star are like little white roses before they open up lavender

Native Prairie Association of Tejas, below, awesome.


go team Green! Go micro-prairies!!!!

you can hear me breathing in this video of one of the burns last week but barely can hear the low roar of an awesome fire Tallisheek. It was kickin. Both burns took about three hours each to complete.







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