Reflection Riding's Lower Meadows Bursting With Beauty And Buzzing With Pollinators

Wednesday, September 1, 2021
The lower meadows in bloom with Bearded beggarticks and Giant ironweed
The lower meadows in bloom with Bearded beggarticks and Giant ironweed
The native wildflowers in Reflection Riding’s lower meadows are in peak bloom, and members and visitors are invited to enjoy the flowers and see ecosystem management in action by touring the meadows during daylight hours. For a more educational experience, attend a Wildflower Walk, guided by Reflection Riding’s land conservation team, on Saturday, Sept.11 at 9 a.m..
 
“We’re using nature to fix nature,” said Scotty Smith, director of land conservation. “Our lower meadows are a type of wet prairie with ecology that is shaped by the hydrology of Lookout Creek.
The land is inundated and scoured each winter as the creek floods, helping to keep it an open natural grassland.”  

The meadows are bursting with color. The real showstoppers in the meadows are Bearded beggarticks (Bidens aristosa) and Giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), but there are many other plants in bloom at this time of year on Reflection Riding’s campus, as well. Those include Boneset, Blue mist flower, Wingstem, Elephant's foot, Passionflower and Cardinal flower.

“Grasslands are hotspots of biodiversity,” Mr. Smith continues. “They provide many unique habitats that support a rich and robust ecosystem.” The lower meadows are home to a wide variety of mammals, birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators. When you walk through the wildflowers, you’ll hear the area buzzing with life."

Member Nick Hartline just visited the lower meadows with his children. “All of us had a wonderful time, and the girls loved exploring in the flowers. The towering flowers and bees buzzing all around make for a magical experience! I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the beauty and learn about the land around you.”

Admission to this wildflower fairyland is free for current members, who are welcome to visit from during daylight hours. Visitors should reserve a visit pass online, with a suggested donation of $15 or more, and enjoy the meadows during the time they select. Or, to learn more about ecosystem management and the plants and animals in the lower meadows, join Reflection Riding’s land conservation team for the Sept. 11 Wildflower Walk. Space is limited, so register today.
Members of the Hartline family enjoying the wildflowers in the lower meadows
Members of the Hartline family enjoying the wildflowers in the lower meadows

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