A short afternoon outing west of Bolivar, Missouri
Today after lunch, my husband, daughter, son and I ventured out to La Petite Gemme Prairie just a mile or so west of Bolivar. My son told me recently about this nature preserve, but we hadn’t taken time to go see it until today. We decided to take a short jaunt out to see what we could.
And honestly, this is likely NOT the prime time of year to see this sight.
It takes a keen eye, an ability to notice subtle colors and textures, and an open mind as to what exactly constitutes beauty.
Must a landscape always contain exotic foliage, flaming sunsets, and towering mountains to be considered beautiful? Can the somber, drab colors of deep December reveal their own beauty?
I’ll let you decide as you peruse the shots I took as we walked the 37-acre preserve.
For more background on the preserve, here are some details from the yellow informational sign that appears near the end of this post:
“The 37-acre area was purchased by the non-profit Missouri Prairie Foundation in 1977. It is owned by the MPF, and co-managed by the MPF and the Missouri Department of Conservation. A botanically diverse and scenic upland prairie on soils derived from shale and limestone, La Petite Gemme is a beautiful spot in which to relax and wander. The name is French for “the little gem” and recognizes the French influence on Missouri as well as the gemlike quality of the prairie wildflowers.”
Here’s an impressive list of flowers and creatures that make this preserve their home. All of these are listed on the yellow sign that appears at the bottom of this post.
- western and sawtooth sunflowers
- white and New England asters
- shooting stars
- blue sage
- blazing star
- butterfly milkweed
- compass plant
- Indian’s wild potato (Pomme de Prairie)
- Prairie mimosa
- Henslow’s sparrow
- upland sandpiper
- scissor-tailed flycatcher
- legless lizards (a.k.a. glass snake)
- box turtles
- Indian grass
- big bluestem
- nine species of mosses
Thanks for reading! It was a mild 65 degrees F when we started out for the prairie, but as we walked, the temperature cooled, the wind picked up, and as we loaded into the car, a misty rain settled in. Back home now, I can still hear the rain gently falling outside.