When is a prairie is not a prairie…

The overal scene looks so much like an untouched prairie; greens are flourishing and going on for miles and miles. The sky is never ending. A vulture scans for lunch. This prairie is wild; no telephone lines or roads interupt it’s untamed beauty.

But on closer inspection, or if you remember you’re on “Aligator Alley”, a part of I75, you see evidence that this isn’t even a wetland prairie swam or bog. It’s much wetter and is infact part of the Florida Everglades. Take the closer look into this profound region.

“Prairie” grasses with wide open skies; NOT. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Hint: Great Egrets are not found in prairies. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Alligators are definitely not a part of a prairie habitat. They do bask in the sun next to water while they await their next meal. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The Snowy Egret takes off to continue it’s hunt for food in Florida’s Everglades. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Native abundance…

“This plant is a native, and with true American perspicacity and enterprise has forged his way from

magenta obscurity to the most prominent place in the floral world.”

‘My Garden’ by Louise Beebe Wilder, 1916

Phlox abundance. May you see the wonder all around you. Copyright 2017 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

Hunger has been satiated….

Chicago is FLAT unless you include concrete overpasses and underpasses. Starved Rock State Park is a short two-hour drive west from my hometown flatland. The change in environment is extreme and refreshing. Also, it is exhausting for Chicagoans’ muscles used to walking flatland. So, while I rest my arthritic knee and other stressed body parts, I will share some this area’s splendor. My aches are welcome remnants of time well spent; my body will heal and my memories will last for ages.

Some images are from the nearby Matthiessen State Park which we visited as well thanks to the strong recommendation of our daughter. Both Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks in Illinois are results of glacial movement south and then melting and retreat. These parks are witness to natures’ strength and constant change.

Warning to anyone that thinks venturing off marked paths would be fun! Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Canyons of Matthiessen State Park. The people in the background give you an idea of its grand perspective. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg.

That bridge is partway down into the canyon. Awe inspiring views. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Wild Cat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park. One of many canyons in the preserve. Waterfalls were very small because of lack of rain recently. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg


100 steps down from the Lodge was the “beginning” of many more steps down into canyon bottoms. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg


Petite bouquets…

Eastern Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) shows up voluntarily along paths and roadsides. The flowers are thumbnail sized and bloom in bouquet arrangements tempting passersby to capture their loveliness. Today I brought them home as images saved.

Portrait of Daily Fleabane. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Nature’s bouquet. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Subtle reminders…

The fuzzy seed heads are Goldenrod, whose flowers were a short while ago bright golden yellow. The background is the golden flowers of Jerusalem Artichoke, unintentionally reminding us of the recent blaze that was Goldenrod.

Goldenrod in seed, Lincoln Park, Chicago. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

The long lens allowed for a short depth of field making the Goldenrod in focus and the background Jerusalem Artichoke to fade in detail. Despite the strong yellow color in a large portion of the image, the contrast in focus makes it clear to the viewer that the attention belongs to the seed heads in this image.