Common Milkweed (A. syriaca) releasing seeds in Fireworks West Prairie.

Weather Review

  • Monthly Rainfall Total: 0.18 inches
  • Highest Temperature: 84.5oF
  • Lowest Temperature: 70.4oF
  • Highest Wind Speed: 6.5 mph


  • Rosinweed (S. asteriscus) is the dominant flowering plant in Firework and Steele Prairies.
  • Some Black Eyed Susans (R. hirta) remain in flower in Firework, Steele, and Halfmoon Prairies.
  • Hyssopleaf Thoroughwort (E. hyssopifolium), Roundleaf Thoroughwort (E. rotundifolium), and Late Boneset (E. serotinum) all in flower within Firework, Steele, Halfmoon, and Far Side Prairies.
  • Butterflyweed (A. tuberosa) and Milkweed (A. syriaca) releasing seeds in Fireworks and Steele Prairies.
  • Bobwhite Quail heard calling in Firework Prairies.
  • Indigo Buntings sighted on Rosinweed (S. asteriscus) within prairie.
  • Early Goldenrod (S. juncea) flower buds are present in Fireworks, Francis, and Steele Prairies.
  • Two Otters, One Beaver, One Kingfisher, One Red Winged Hawk, One American Bullfrog, One Fishing Spider, and several Common Snapping Turtles all sighted in Otter Pond.
American Bull Frog At Otter Pond.

American Bull Frog At Otter Pond.


  • Dense population of Katydid Nymphs within Firework Prairies.
  • Seven Eastern Tiger Swallowtails sighted visiting Rosinweed (S. asteriscus) flowers.
  • Four Monarchs sighted visiting Rosinweed (S. asteriscus) flowers and remaining Butterflyweed (A. tuberosa)
  • Some Butterflyweed (A. tuberosa) is present in flower within Firework and Steele Prairies, however, most is in seed. The individuals remaining in flower are protected by large shade pockets from tall plants such as Dogfennel (E. capillifolium).
  • White Egret sighted in Otter Pond.
Dense Blazing Star (L. spicata) in Redbanks Prairie.

Dense Blazing Star (L. spicata) in Redbanks Prairie.


  • Sicklepod (S. obustifolia) and Horse Nettle (S. carolinense) are dominant flowers in Indian Mound Prairies.
  • Sulfur Butterflies heavy in Indian Mound, sighted visiting Sicklepod (S. obustifolia) flowers.
  • Sicklepod (S. obustifolia) has filled in logging area in Firework East Woods. Hundreds of yellow sulfur butterflies in the area – a blur of yellow movement.
  • Rustweed (P. procumbens) in flower along prairie floor, forming mats. Can be found in all prairies.
  • Far Gate Prairies have regressed to stage one prairies from extensive logging truck damage. The dominant plant is Johnson Grass (S. halepense).
  • Partridge Pea (C. fasiculata) in flower, can be found in all prairies.
  • Robber Fly (Asilidae) sighted in Redbanks Prairie carrying prey, a bee species.


  • Camphorweed (H. subaxillaris) flower buds present, some individuals starting to flower in Fireworks West Prairie.
  • The first flower of American Groundnut (A. americana) in flower along Fireworks Pond.
  • The first flower of Blue Mistflower (C. coelestinum) in flower along Prairie Seven edge.
  • The first flowers of Cutleaf Coneflowers (R. lacinata) were found along Halfmoon Trail.
  • Female deer sighted in Halfmoon grazing.
  • American Beautyberry (C. americana) berries have appeared, green in color.
  • The first flowers of New York Ironweed (V. noveboracensis) were sighted on Otter Pond Trail.
Robber Fly holding prey in Redbanks Prairie.

Robber Fly holding prey in Redbanks Prairie.


  • Early Goldenrod (S. juncea) is the dominant flowering plant in Francis Prairie.
  • Some Heal-All (P. vulgaris) flowers remain along Francis Prairie edge, most have died out.
  • The first flowers of Maryland senna (S. marilandica) were sighted in Halfmoon and Block House Prairies.
  • First sighting of Red Spotted Purple Butterfly in Block House Back Prairie.
  • Foxtail species and Indian Grass (S. nutans) in seed.
  • Horse Nettle (S. carolinense) and Pokeweed (P. americana) in fruit.


  • Juvenile Marbled Orb Weaver spider sighted in Prairie seven.
  • A grasshopper exoskeleton shed found on Dogfennel plant in Fireworks East Prairie.
  • Stop Action Camera place on Thompson Creek to watch flood waters though 8/31/23.
  • The first flower of Little Leaf Tick Clover (D. ciliare) in flower in Francis Prairie.
  • Large cluster of orange chanterelle mushrooms fruiting in Halfmoon at the base of large oak tree. First sighting.
Orange Chanterelles in Halfmoon.

Orange Chanterelles in Halfmoon.


  • Wood Nettle (L. canadensis) starting to flower in flood plain.
  • Chinese Privett (L. sinenes) fruits present in Fireworks East woods.
  • Partridge Berry (M. repens) berries present along trail leading to Francis Prairie.
  • Two Green Anole juveniles were sighted, one in Fireworks East woods and one by Thompson Creek.


  • Little to no storm damage from Hurricane Idalia.
  • Halfmoon trails are wet and holding water in some places.
  • Thompson Creek water was moving quickly. Water resembled chocolate milk, high turbidity.
  • Blue Moon present on the night of 8/30/23 and photographed the morning of 8/31/23.
Blue Moon setting on the morning of August 31, 2023.

Blue Moon setting on the morning of August 31, 2023.

Aerial views of 3 prairies showing August growth progression

Author: Brianna Bergamini

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