Southern Minnesota's tallgrass, wildflowers and birds were on display for a wildflower walk at Joseph A. Tauer Prairie Scientific and Natural Area.

The once dominating prairie of Southern Minnesota is now a threatened ecosystem, making the Scientific and Natural Area especially important.
"The whole landscape used to be prairie like this down here, the part here that's unplowed is 20 acres and getting this far east, New Ulm area and east that's fairly significant. We've got very few prairies in my work area east of here. We've got one by Le Sueur, Kasota Prairie and then after that we've got some in Mauer County but those are all small fragments this is larger than those," DNR Scientific Natural Area Specialist Brad Bolduan said.
The Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA is unique because one-fourth of it is undisturbed native prairie.
"On this site we've got a couple in vases that are coming in and we're trying to keep those in check, we've got Birdfoot trefoil which is a legume that's kind of trying to invade from the edges we're out here controlling that, we're probably getting out here about every three weeks in the summer to control that. Leafy spurge is showing up on this site we're trying to control that. Been a little while since we've burned out here, but we probably try to burn about every third year on this property," Boldaun added.
With about 100 species of plants flowering, it's a great time to be out walking the prairie.
"There are several legumes blooming, purple Prairie Clover there's lead plant, there's a couple onions that are blooming. A lot of composites and sunflowers, some brown eyed Susan's, some of the gayfeathers are starting to bloom. We've got two different legumes, the purple Prairie Clover and the candida trefoil are blooming," Boldaun said.
There will be one more walk taking place in Yellow Medicine County which will wrap up DNR nature walks this season but they will be back in full force next year.

--KEYC News 12