A Prairie Crayon Box

If you’re going to color a prairie landscape, reach for your box of crayons.

Chocolate brown for the bison.

IMG_6602

Butter yellow for the prairie coreopsis.

IMG_6383

Or a slightly smudged, battered yellow crayon for the prescribed burn crew’s jackets, as they set fires that keep the prairies and savannas healthy. (You’ll need the orange crayon for the flames).

IMG_3864

Keep that bright orange crayon out– you’ll need it for the butterfly weed.

IMG_6434

Black for the ebony jewelwing damselfly’s wings. Iridescent green, for the rest of his body, if you can find it. (You might need the big box).

IMG_6467

The scarlet and lime green crayons for sumac in September.

IMG_1250

Contrasted with the pure white of the New Jersey tea flowers in summer. Press hard, or the white won’t show up.

IMG_6154

The softer white of a great egret.

IMG_5728

The pale pink of a thousand shooting stars in spring.

IMG_2356

Shade the pink with the lightest lavender crayon in the box for the pale purple coneflowers of summer. Add more intense purple for the vervain.

IMG_3173

Take out the sky blue crayon. Use it generously.

IMG_9064

Add some violet to the sky blue, reflected in the rich color of gentians, nestled deep in the grasses.

IMG_0001

Then, scribble magenta for the ironweed of autumn.

IMG_8895

Followed by the dark navy globes of the carrion flower, gone to seed, winding through the tallgrass. Shade the globes with purple and black.

IMG_0478

So many colors!

And still.

You’ve only pulled a few of the many crayons you’ll need to color the prairie landscape from your prairie crayon box.

(All photographs by Cindy Crosby (top to bottom): bison, Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL; prairie coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata), Schulenberg Prairie at The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prescribed burn crew, NG; butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), SP; ebony jewelwing damselfly, NG;  sumac, NG; New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus), SP; great egret, NG; shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia), SP; pale purple coneflowers (Echinacea pallida), NG; road to the sky, NG; gentians (Gentiana puberulenta), SP; ironweed (Vernonia altissima), NG, carrion flowers gone to seed, NG (Smilax herbacea).

6 responses to “A Prairie Crayon Box

  1. This is my new favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara Maxson

    How lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday, Prairie Girl.

    Judi Frequently wrong. . . . . never in doubt!

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maksrs@aol.com

    Beautiful one today, thank you it made my morning

    Mary Ann

    Like

  5. Paulette Hagen

    How beautiful! God’s color palate is never ending! You couldn’t make enough crayons to have all the shades and nuances of shades in His world.

    Like

  6. Cindy – I do so love following your newsletters. Love you, Aunt Micki

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s