I’ve spent my writing life extolling the virtues of the gorgeous grasslands of the Great Plains, which furnish a considerable amount of the air we breathe. They also furnish grazing for grassfed beef, and thus are important to all of us for a variety of reasons, most of which I’ve explained at length in nonfiction and poetry in 17 published books.
Now there’s a guide to the wildflowers of the region that is organized for the way most visitors to this neighborhood see the grasslands: at 70 miles an hour from a moving car.
A Field Guide to Roadside Wildflowers At Full Speed by Chris Helzer, the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, is offered as a free pdf download at his blog — link here.
Written as a parody to point out how silly it is for us to fail to appreciate the treasure we have in the grasslands, the book is proving immensely popular.
On his blog, The Prairie Ecologist, Helzer recently wrote:
I’m hoping maybe all this craziness will at least lead to a few more people thinking about prairies, if just for a moment or two. If I’d known what kind of reaction it was going to get, I might have spent more time trying to make the guide into a better ambassador for grasslands and their beauty. Silly me, I thought I was just going through a lot of work to make myself laugh.
Download the book, learn about wildflowers from your speeding car, and maybe you’ll be inspired to slow down and get to know our unique grassland ecosystem.
Linda M. Hasselstrom
Windbreak House Writing Retreats
Hermosa, South Dakota
© 2020, Linda M. Hasselstrom
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