This cache will focus on the tallgrass prairies which are areas that receive more than 20 inches of precipitation per year and have loamy or clay-based soils consisting of natural earthy materials and loam in a rich soil consisting of clay, sand, silt, and organic matter. Scientists believe that the coastal prairie was developed because of the hard clay layer underneath the topsoil which inhibited root formation of larger species such as forest trees. Natural fires, such as those started by lightning, also contributed to keeping the growth of trees and shrubs in check while stimulating the growth of natural grasses. The tallgrass prairies are essentially gone. It is estimated that less than 3% of the 240 million acres of tallgrass prairie remains.
The sign to answer questions one and two is down for refurbishment. Just skip these questions.
1. Go to the cache coordinates. Look at the sign and read about the soil in this area which was deposited by rivers over eons of time. What is the name of the type of soil in this area and what are its characteristics?
2. You will also read on that sign about how this type of soil shrinks when it is dry, opening large cracks and swells that shut again when wet. After an extended period, heavy rains will wash top soil and organic matter into the cracks, which then swell shut. For this reason this type of soil is called what?
3. Go to the Prairie Platform and walk along the prairie trail. Describe the soil in your posting. In your e-mail, tell me what season it is - wet or dry - and why.
4. What do you think the benefits are to the soil of having deep-rooted grasses?
5. On the Prairie Platform, there is a sign that has a quote in the lower left corner about prairies. Who is the quote from and when was it written?
- Wed. - Sat. 9am - 5pm
- Sun. 12pm - 5pm
- Last admission at 4:00pm
- Gates locked at 5:00pm.
- ABNC is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
- 3 Years & under Free
- 4 - 12 Years $2.00
- 13 - 59 Years $4.00
- 60 Years & above $2.00
Please do not leave the established trails. Mosquito repellent is advised. Bring water. Photos are very welcome as long as they do not give away the answers.
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