Kaw Valley Almanac
this week’s Almanac
This spray of butterfly milkweed blossoms feeds pollinators who help it produce seed-filled milkweed pods, which open up and are carried away in the wind to produce new plants and feed new butterflies.
A hummingbird moth (top left) is working over these blooming purple prairie clovers. Pollinators will only get more active as summer progresses and nectar flow continues to increase.
This rattlesnake master emerging seedhead is something to behold. Go out on the prairie and find one for yourself!
When they first emerge, these Echinacea pallida ray flowers on the edge of the seed disk shoot skyward, then flatten out, finally relaxing enough to point down to the ground or even curve under toward the stalk.
Many roadsides are currently showcasing clusters of white dogwood blossoms. Many pollinators love their four-petaled flowers, including this summer azure butterfly.
It’s been a good year for blooming spiderworts, and you might still see a few of these, joined this week by echinacea, penstemons, daisy fleabane, and delphiniums, along with already blooming yarrows, oxeye daisy, and yellow sweet clover.
Oxeye daisy is a “naturalized” prairie wildflower that some consider invasive, but it is an important food source for many pollinators, such as this beetle.
This wild hyacinth was one of many blooming at the Prairie Park Nature Center prairie. Expect more wildflowers to be blooming this week.
Prairies are coming alive, as evidenced by the yellow star-eyed grass to the left, white strawberries, lower right, and wood betony, upper right.
The leaves of the walnut, on the left, emerge much later than the cottonwood. If you look carefully you will see a little splash of red from the cardinal perched among the walnut branches. Many migratory songbirds are returning right now, as are the tree leaves.
Green elm seeds, blooming redbuds, wind and rain were all in play across much of our area last week, as we head into the last week of April.