The Bur Oak Land Trust executive director Jason Taylor guided our group through their managed property Turkey Creek. Near Coralville Reservoir, the property is their largest holding with two restored prairies and a creekside portion. Trails allow visitors to hike around the property. Right after we started our hike, a flock of White Pelicans flew over. It was a good omen.
Our trail carried us creekside. We stopped often to learn about the various plants and efforts to encourage the health and spread of desirable species. Jason was a terrific resource.
Much of the stream bed is bedrock. Nature groups come to explore. Kids love being able to hunt for fossils and treasures. Make a plan to come visit.
It tickled me that I recognized the jack-in-the-pulpit berries. I saw them for the first time in east Texas — and yet I never saw the berries when I lived in Iowa. I only remember the plant itself. I was interested, too, that Turkey Creek is part of Bur Oak Land Trust. When I last was in the Kansas City area, I visited the Burr Oak conservation area. I just now found out that both spellings are used, so both places no doubt were named after Quercus macrocarpa.
All of that research reminded me I’d brought home a pile of bur oak acorns from Kansas, and I hadn’t seen them in ages. I couldn’t figure out where they’d gone, until I finally found them in a bowl on top of a tall bookshelf.
There are a few jack in the pulpits in the trees behind our house. I saw green berries on one of them early in the summer. I didn’t realize they turned red.
The naturalist who led our walk impressed us how important the oak trees are. They do all they can to give them the sunlight needed by cutting back invasives. What will you do with your acorns?
Keep them around as souvenirs. They go nicely with my tumbleweed, my rocks, my collection of crawfish shells, my lightning whelk…..