This bumble bee is starting the pollination process without even realizing it! When bees land on a flower, like this milkweed flower, their feet often slip into a little groove that holds pollen sacs. When the bee flies away it carries off this sac like a saddlebag stuck on its feet. When this bee lands on another flower looking for nectar, the "saddlebag" falls off, the pollen falls out of the sac, and pollination is underway.

 

What are some of the most beautiful prairie flowers?

 

Prairie BlazingstarThe prairie blazingstar is one of the most beautiful flowers on the tallgrass prairie. It has magenta colored flowers arranged along a spike at the top of a long stalk up to 5 feet high. Many kinds of butterflies are attracted to this flower.

Sweet Coneflower Sweet coneflower can grow to height of 6 feet if planted in moist soil.
 

Purple Coneflower The purple coneflower is used by many people in their gardens at home. See how large the orange-colored cone is?

This is the part of the flower which produces seeds after the purple petals fall off. Birds like goldfinches  love to eat these seeds. 

The monarch butterfly is here pictured with an aster plant. 

Monarch and Aster PlantThe monarch butterfly and the milkweed plant are interdependent. The larvae of the monarch butterfly feed on milkweed leaves which are toxic to most insects. This toxin (poison) accumulates in the body of the larvae and adult monarch butterfly, making it poisonous to the birds, thus protecting it from being eaten!