Fields of “Wildflowers” in Galax, VA


While surveying the kingdom this morning I was struck by the beauty of several of our fields which were planted in “wildflowers” in previous years and cut as often as once a year, and sometimes burned every three years. The oxeye daisies are in full bloom and the lance-leaf coriopsis are just starting to bloom. The great fritillary butterflies were out in force sipping nectar from the coriopsis.

We have many more types of flowers to come but for early June the fields are looking very nice and the way we have planned for them to develop. Each field needs special attention to avoiding overgrowth by exotic pasture grasses (fescue) and woody invaders (black locust mainly). It is interesting how hard we have to work to gain a “natural” look for grasslands! Maybe a few buffalo would help?

Bill Dunson, Englewood, FL & Galax, VA

Bill Dunson

About Bill Dunson

Bill Dunson, born in rural Georgia, skipped 12th grade and went directly to Yale. Bill subsequent-ly received a PhD in Zoology from the University of Michigan, studying softshell turtles. Bill is Professor Emeritus of Pennsylvania State University thanks to a career spent entirely at that institution, teaching and doing research on the physio-logical ecology and ecotoxiciology of reptiles, amphibians and fish. Always curious about nature, Bill has dedicated his life to learning and sharing his knowledge with others. He has served on many advisory boards here in Southwest Florida to preserve the water that gives life to our region.

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