Tall grasses of the Kansas Prairie

Big Bluestem grass is at its peak beauty in the fall in the Kansas Flint Hills.
The Flint Hills is also known as the Tallgrass Prairie. The grasses reach their peak height in fall when they put out their seed heads. It has been said that the grasses used to grow taller than a man on horseback. I have only seen the grasses that tall a few times in my 40+ years living on the prairie, but when soil moisture and growing conditions are perfect, they do get very very tall.  Unfortunately when the grasses are at their peak in height and beauty, the nutritional value is very low. We must supplement the cattle so that they receive all the nutrients they need. Sometimes it just means a mineral supplement mixed with salt, but other times it means some kind of protein.

There are many grasses on the prairie, but the ones we see in the fall that draw our attention are Big Bluestem (also called Turkeyfoot) and Indian Grass. There are other shorter ones that add to the fall beauty, but these are the literal standouts on the prairie this time of year.
Big Bluestem with a locust hanging tight. The grass is also called Turkeyfoot because of the seed head...look closely a the 3-prongs of the turkey's foot.

Indiangrass has a tall stem and seedhead. It grows in a clump, just like Big Bluestem.
Indiangrass is so named because of the two little "feathers" that stick up when you pull back a leaf.
Roo Dog waits in the truck for me to finish taking pictures, so she can chase any wildlife that happen to be nearby!

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