That's my daughter Annie, posing in her prairie grass. Last year in her science class she participated in an online prairie restoration game. She excitedly related the story to me and then we played the game at home together. I remembered while reading Durango's blog about a place that he hikes frequently, Tandy Hills. I shared the website with Annie and she was so enamored with the prairie and the pictures and the things Mr. Young wrote about the Tandy Hills that she begged me not to cut the tall grasses down in the empty lot next to our house.
"Clouds of busy dragonflies swim on the heavy, morning air. Sky-slashing, Cooper’s Hawks, keep my senses sharp while a growing population of Cottontail rabbits keep Olive the prairie dog on full alert. Life is good at Tandy Hills Natural Area."
After reading those few lines by Mr. Young, Annie's little eyes lit up and she was hooked. Those words and pictures seemed like magic to my nine year old little darling. She asked, "Can we go to Tandy Hills? Will Olive the prairie dog be there?"
Annie keeps very good track of all her money. She's been saving her Christmas and birthday money for quite some time and has amassed a small fortune of $1200. She couldn't ever decide what she wanted to do with it, but said that one day an idea will come to her. That day has finally arrived.
"My imagination is roaming free in grasslands." Annie
With her $1200, Annie purchased four small city lots on the outside of town. Each lot cost $25 each. She and I then did our research and purchased prairie grass seed as well as wild flower seed. Due to the lack of rainfall in our part of Texas we chose drought resistant varieties:
Big Blue Stem, Canada Wild Rye, Porcupine Grass, Indian Grass, White Prairie Fringed Orchid, Common Spider Wort, Purple Coneflower and Wild Bergamont.
She wanted me to purchase the Western Meadowlark birds, but I assured her that once the grasses and flowers were growing and blooming the birds would come.
Now, we're spending time piling up caliche rocks, pruning Mesquite trees and dreaming of a prairie.