The last bunch of cows has been run through the corrals and worked this week, and on Sunday they will be the last bunch of cows to be AI-ed. Then they will be turned out to summer pasture with the bulls who will get to finish up the job. I really think it should be totally up to the bulls to do the breeding, but I'm the "naturalist" in the family. I prefer the old fashioned methods of breeding cows among other things.
The weather has turned hotter lately so that means our grass is maturing and drying up. It is July after all, and that's the natural way of things on the prairie. Since the wind usually blows along with the hot sun, it can get dry in a hurry. There's a chance of some rain tomorrow which would be really nice to keep the un-cut hay green until we can get to it. The pasture grass that the cows and sheep are grazing is so good right now and a rain would be just dandy for it too, plus it would settle the dust. I do hope we get a nice rain.
Smooth bromegrass (the tall) and some Crested wheatgrass (shorter)
Grass is what the prairie is all about. It's not a great place to grow trees, shrubs, or fancy flowers. We do grow a few of these with some nurturing, but the conditions are not the best for tree-growing and such. It is ideal for growing grass though, and I've heard it said that our northern prairie grass is the best there is. It's called "hard grass" because it grows under mainly dry conditions and it's not full of water like some grasses grown in wetter areas. When it dries, the protein levels are said to be far superior to "washy grass" as our men call it, so the livestock does really well on it. I took some pictures of some of the grasses that are mature right now on our place. Some of the grasses that I've pictured are transplanted in the rock garden in my backyard. There are a few late season grasses that I hope to share with you later on.
Crested wheatgrass pollinating
Timothy grass. A rare and desireable grass for us.
Usually found in wet, low areas.
Timothy grass, flowering & pollinating.
In the rock garden:
Western wheatgrass (tall), salt sage (short gray),
prairie sage (gray tall), and blue flax.
Gretchen Joanna shared a wonderful poem about grass that I really like. I thought you might enjoy it here too.
The grass so little has to do,—
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain,
And stir all day to pretty tunes
The breezes fetch along,
And hold the sunshine in its lap
And bow to everything;
And thread the dews all night, like pearls,
And make itself so fine,—
A duchess were too common
For such a noticing.
And even when it dies, to pass
In odours so divine,
As lowly spices gone to sleep,
Or amulets of pine.
And then to dwell in sovereign barns,
And dream the days away,—
The grass so little has to do,
I wish I were the hay!