Have you ever admired a singular oak tree?
When left to grow uninhibited by man's buildings, power lines, or cramped in woodlots, their breadth and spread is simply a work of art. This legacy tree speaks to us of what was - before white man changed the land known as O-hi-yo (meaning- "it is beautiful".)
Unencumbered in a Crawford county field, this oak stands tribute to passing time and our country's history. One oak, a last remainder for bio-diversity, in the plowed ground "canvas" for agricultural monocultures.
Now imagine a hundred of these trees.
Behemoths in the landscape, Bur oaks (Quercus macrocarpa) spread as wide as they are tall, reaching across unplowed soils boasting of over 150 some species of native grasses and forbs. Wet sedge meadow meets prairie grass on this 30 acre museum of natural history. This savannah was maintain by fire in Crawford county's pre-history, where Native Americans appreciated the end result of flame to the landscape: large open grassland where only the heat resistant oak could survive. Plentiful game- with grass to graze and acorns to forage. This was their O-hi-yo.
These Sandusky Plains are celebrated by a state marker, and this patch of land has created many a sleepless night for a handful of concerned naturalist in Crawford, and many other counties throughout our state. The stakes are too high to lose this last living remnant of what once was. Daughmer Prairie is well noted as the best example left of a prairie / oak savannah in the mid-west, and it looks like Ohio Division of Natural Areas Check-off funds will be used to achieve its long-awaited preservation.
Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) blows freely in the breeze.
This land of incredible beauty is also a land of incredible bio-diversity. Red-head Woodpeckers thrive on this open lot, while dragonflies and butterflies of every manner cruise the grassland and wet meadows all spring and summer.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to achieve the permanent conservation of this land. You are giving the gift of our past- to the future.
I remember touring Daughmer Prairie when I was in Marion a few years ago for the Ohio Prairie Conference. I'm glad to hear it will achieve a protected status.ReplyDelete
Never been there, but I read about it and its plight recently and I'm glad to know it's going to be saved. I checked off that box on my income taxes each year I filed income tax in Ohio and it's nice to know that money is going to such good use!ReplyDelete
I love Daughmer Bur Oak Savannah! Thanks for the great post.ReplyDelete
Hopefully the purchase process will soon be final, and we can use this "natural history museum" for educational purposes again.ReplyDelete
Whenever I visit, it make me feel as if we have rolled back time. Awesome.