Earth Day Blessings…

Restoration and sustainability of the beach dune areas In Lauderdale by the Sea has been in progress the past three years. This patch of Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata) has matured. A blessed Earth Day to you today and every day! Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

A creative optimist’s apparition…

Most people see a puddle with a little weedy grass growing out of a crack in the sidewalk/pavement. When I walked past this spot I saw a miniature island paradise complete with sunshine peaking out of a few clouds in blue skies. I am ever the optimist. I look imaginatively at people and things.

Puddle or someone’s paradise? I must get out the microscope; but risk being run over. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Prairie homeland…

Looking back to the more colorful days of late summer, early autumn.

Hardy, perennial prairie plants gradually go dormant, resting until next springs longer, warmer days. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) amongst prairie diversity. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Purple Aster, a dependable sign of the end of Summer. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Wild dreams…

Restored Midwestern prairie land of wild grasses and Rudbeckia and many other wondrous natives. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Black eyed Susans, aka Rudbeckia , indicates that summer is well under way in the U.S. heartland, the prairie. Illinois is the “prairie state” yet less than 10% of virgin prairie lands remain. This piece of prairie is part of a restoration project, West Ridge Nature Preserve on Chicago’s north-east side. In Chicago one does not have to travel far to pretend they are a part of a time long ago; the stuff of good summertime daydreams.

The future…

Prairie restoration around a migratory bird sanctuary in Lincoln Park. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Seed heads feed birds and insects and make dramatic winter compositions. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Prairie grass in seed, assuring sustainability of native species. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Sunlit textures…

Late afternoon, low angel light shows the textures of one of the Lincoln Park lawns. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

The same light on Lake Michigan reveals textures created from Lake depths and wind. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

A wild lion…

Macro view of the lovely Dandelion. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Dandelion in the lawn. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Now, back to nature. Here’s a couple of images of the “lions” that roam freely (and aggressively) in our lawns. The Dandelion (Taraxacum), as a flower, is pretty; take a close look.

Cotton of some kind…

Bog Cotton, Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Bog Cotton (Eriophorum angustifolium) is the chosen nickname of this attention-grabbing seedhead found at the Volo Bog, north of Chicago. It’s more common name is Common Cottongrass or Common Cottonsedge. So I suppose, even though grasses, sedges and rushes are each unique in character, the “naming” rights are a matter of personal experience with the plant.

Today I share words from another WordPress sight I pleasantly discovered that succinctly states the differences between the three common marsh plant types. The following descriptor refers to the stem qualities:

  • “Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses have nodes where leaves are found.”

From https://meathecotours.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/the-bog-cotton-is-high/

Deceptive image…

True, unaltered image. But untruthful representation of a prairie. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

True, unaltered image. But untruthful representation of a prairie. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

The prairie is a favorite hangout for me. Grasses are the dominant species of the Midwest prairie. Blue skies and accompanying white fluffy Cumulus clouds are prime background to show off the vastness of the prairie. A prairie in the midst of suburban Chicago offers a treasured environs of solace. Maidengrass (Miscanthus sinensis) is not to found however, in a native prairie. This Eurasian import is a perennial in this climate, and it found only in human-created landscapes.

This patch of Maidengrass occupies only about nine square feet at the parking lot curb entrance to my doctor’s office. This morning they caught my attention because of their gentle swaying against the bright autumn sky. It was a tiny piece of non-native wilds that brightened my morning.