The June Baker Prairie walk, co-sponsored by the Friends of Baker Prairie and the Disorganized Bird Club, had a total of 16 people participating in this bird walk and clean-up to explore and enjoy one of our town’s most precious natural areas.
The weather was surprisingly mild as we headed off and although the overall bird count for the day was a bit on the short side, we did get our three target species that the prairie in known for: the willow flycatcher, the Bell’s vireo, and the painted bunting.
Present for the birdwatching for DOBC members Gina Booth, Jack and Pam Stewart, Terri and Alan Gregory, Linda Mann, Dianne Beard, Cheryl Satterfield, Joan Lipsmeyer and Sheree Rogers as well as me and Tim. We were later joined by Bob Hotchkiss and Margaret Lonadier, both board members of the Friends of Baker Prairie and by Jennifer Ogles of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission to help pick up a little trash and to pull out invasive Queen Anne’s Lace from the prairie itself.
It was a great morning on the prairie. Stay tuned for upcoming pictures and for more information about prairie events!
Two beautiful plants flowering on Baker Prairie right now are Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) and Ozark trillium (Trillium ozarkanum formerly Trillium pusillum var. ozarkana).
Indian paintbrush can be seen from the road on the western side of the prairie to the south of the sign, but to really see its true beauty and the color variations such as yellow and peach, take a walk along the path.
The red-colored parts are not part of the flower, but bracts underneath the tiny flowers.
Although Indian paintbrush is often a prairie plant, it can also be seen growing upon bluffs by the Buffalo National River.
When you’re walking along the path to see the Indian paintbrush, follow the path to the right and you will find Ozark trillium aka Ozark wakerobin. Look for it in the trail as you’re heading down a slope. When you find it on the trail, step off to the west (left), and you can find larger clumps of it partially hidden by dried grasses. The flowers are white when they are young, then turn pink and purple as they age.
The Ozark trillium is also found in other areas of northwest Arkansas, usually near small streams, and in a few places in the Ouachitas.
We would like to welcome you to the new website for Friends of Baker Prairie. If you are following this site, a message will appear in your inbox whenever a we make a post. In order to do this, please click on the “Follow” button on the site. We will use this site for photos of the prairie, announcements of upcoming events, and general observations. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com to submit pictures, comments, etc.!