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The Tallgrass Prairie Reader

Author: John T Price
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609382463
Size: 46.56 MB
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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.

Restoring The Tallgrass Prairie

Author: Shirley Shirley
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587292203
Size: 65.93 MB
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Iowa is the only state that lies entirely within the natural region of the tallgrass prairie. Early documents indicate that 95 percent of the state—close to 30 million acres—was covered by prairie vegetation at the time of Euro-American settlement. By 1930 the prairie sod had been almost totally converted to cropland; only about 30,000 acres of the original “great green sea” remained. Now, in this gracefully illustrated manual, Shirley Shirley has created a step-by-step guide to reconstructing the natural landscape of Iowa and the Upper Midwest. Chapters on planning, obtaining and selecting plants and seeds, starting seeds indoors, preparing the site, planting, and maintenance set the stage for comprehensive species accounts. Shirley gives firsthand information on soil, moisture, sun, and pH requirements; location, size, and structure; blooming time and color; and propagation, germination, and harvesting for more than a hundred wildflowers and grasses. Shirley's sketches—all drawn from native plants and from seedlings that she grew herself—will be valuable for even the most experienced gardener. While other books typically feature only the flowering plant, her careful drawings show the three stages of the seedlings, the flower, and the seedhead with seeds as well as the entire plant. This practical and attractive volume will help anyone dedicated to reconstructing the lost “emerald growth” of the historic tallgrass prairie.

A Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet

Author: Claudia McGehee
Publisher: Bureau Oak Books
ISBN: 9780877458975
Size: 44.85 MB
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Looks alphabetically at the native plants and animals that make the tallgrass prairie their home through the various seasons of the year, from coyotes to yellow stargrass.

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide To Prairie Restoration In The Upper Midwest

Author: Daryl Smith
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587299526
Size: 40.70 MB
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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.

Prairie In Your Pocket

Author:
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780877456834
Size: 79.44 MB
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Provides common and scientific names, blooming dates, and heights for 114 easily seen midwestern species of prairie plants.

The Ecology And Management Of Prairies In The Central United States

Author: Chris Helzer
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587299313
Size: 26.33 MB
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Most prairies exist today as fragmented landscapes, making thoughtful and vigilant management ever more important. Intended for landowners and managers dedicated to understanding and nurturing their prairies as well as farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and all those with a strong interest in grasslands, ecologist Chris Helzer’s readable and practical manual educates prairie owners and managers about grassland ecology and gives them guidelines for keeping prairies diverse, vigorous, and viable. Chapters in the first section, "Prairie Ecology," describe prairie plants and the communities they live in, the ways in which disturbance modifies plant communities, the animal and plant inhabitants that are key to prairie survival, and the importance of diversity within plant and animal communities. Chapters in the second section, "Prairie Management," explore the adaptive management process as well as guiding principles for designing management strategies, examples of successful management systems such as fire and grazing, guidance for dealing with birds and other species that have particular habitat requirements and with the invasive species that have become the most serious threat that prairie managers have to deal with, and general techniques for prairie restoration. Following the conclusion and a forward-thinking note on climate change, eight appendixes provide more information on grazing, prescribed fire, and invasive species as well as bibliographic notes, references, and national and state organizations with expertise in prairie management. Grasslands can be found throughout much of North America, and the ideas and strategies in this book apply to most of them, particularly tallgrass and mixed-grass prairies in eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, northwestern Missouri, northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin, and southwestern Minnesota. By presenting all the factors that promote biological diversity and thus enhance prairie communities, then incorporating these factors into a set of clear-sighted management practices, The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States presents the tools necessary to ensure that grasslands are managed in the purposeful ways essential to the continued health and survival of prairie communities.

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide To Seed And Seedling Identification In The Upper Midwest

Author: Dave Williams
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587299534
Size: 17.62 MB
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Settlers crossing the tallgrass prairie in the early 1800s were greeted by a seemingly endless landscape of wildflowers and grasses, one of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet. Today, although the tallgrass prairie has been reduced to a tiny percentage of its former expanse, people are working to restore and reconstruct prairie communities. This lavishly illustrated guide to seeds and seedlings, crafted by Tallgrass Prairie Center botanist Dave Williams and illustrator Brent Butler, will insure that everyone from urban gardeners to grassland managers can properly identify and germinate seventy-two species of tallgrass wildflowers and grasses in eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, Iowa, eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, northwestern Missouri, and eastern Oklahoma. Williams has created a brilliant, nearly foolproof system of identification and verification. Two primary keys lead to eleven secondary keys that link to characteristic groups of tallgrass plants: seven groups for wildflowers and four groups for grasses. To identify a seedling, use the primary key to discover its place in the secondary key, then turn to that characteristic group to find your seedling. Circles on each full seedling photograph correspond to close-up photographs; triangles on these close-ups illustrate information in the text to further pinpoint identification. Drawings of leaves illuminate exact identification, and enlarged photographs of each seed provide yet another way to confirm identification. Thousands of seeds were sprouted in the Tallgrass Prairie Center’s greenhouse to provide seedlings close in size and development to those grown in the field near the end of their first season; research and photography took place over four years. Williams’s text for each species includes a thorough description, a comparison of similar species, and guidance for germination and growth. A complete glossary supports the text, which is concise but detailed enough to be accessible to beginning prairie enthusiasts. Anyone in the Upper Midwest who wishes to preserve the native vegetation of prairie remnants or reconstruct a tallgrass prairie of whatever size—from home gardens to schoolyards to roadsides to large acreages—will benefit from the hundreds of photographs and drawings and the precise text in this meticulously prepared guide.

Wildflowers Of The Tallgrass Prairie

Author: Sylvan T. Runkel
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587298449
Size: 20.50 MB
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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.

Stories From Under The Sky

Author: John Madson
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 9781587295621
Size: 21.33 MB
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In Stories from under the Sky, John Madson salutes the outdoor life. These thirty-six essays display his healthy respect for the forces of nature, without diminishing his wry awareness of the foibles of beast, bird, fish, and human. In sections on mammals, the river, and birds, Madson acquaints readers with some real characters—not all of them four-footed! Some are old favorites: the raccoon, the otter, the fawn, and the badger. Others are less familiar—the demonic shrew, the indomitable dogfish, and the exotic blue heron. Even the “unloved” come in for their share of attention: toads, waterbugs, wasps, and turkey buzzards. Madson has a yarn to spin about each one. Where else would you find an essay on “Snake Liars”? Whatever the topic, Madson’s love of nature shines through, be it coon hunting or an explanation of the incredible bird machine. His obvious affection is tempered with the recognition that not everything “natural” is a pretty sight. All of which leaves readers with a better understanding of life under the sky.

Where Do Birds Live

Author: Claudia McGehee
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587299194
Size: 61.69 MB
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The award-winning creator of A Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet presents a visual tour of 14 bird habitats in the United States, sharing behavioral facts while suggesting various protection safeguards for such species as bobolinks, tanagers and woodpeckers.