Setting Sail on a Sea of Grass

The forests are ablaze at the end of October;


The stained glass of trees


Melts into the last smoldering embers of color.


The prairie becomes a vast sea of grass:


waves and waves and waves of grass


you long to throw yourself into it; feel the seed spray


even as you wonder over the last green and gold leaves; like anemones in the liquid air; sprouted from the prairie floor


You know this green will crumble into what is inevitable




A transition we can accept with grace, or rebel against it


We set a brave face against the coming cold


and yet, we forget


what we are given is gold.


The wind blows, whipping up whitecaps from horizon to horizon


the froth of a hundred thousand prairie flowers gone to seed


that crest and foam against


those few rocky islands, which float through the grasses


and even as the turn of seasons brings a kind of melancholy


we bravely set sail for what we can’t yet see


but believe is there, just over the horizon line.

All photos by Cindy Crosby (top to bottom):  First sixteen photos from The Morton Arboretum and its Schulenberg Prairie, Lisle, IL; road through the sumac, Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL; island of trees on the prairie, Franklin Creek Grist Mill prairie, Franklin Grove, IL;  barn and boat, just outside Ashton, IL.

10 responses to “Setting Sail on a Sea of Grass

  1. Cindy, as always, your pictures are incredible. This is my favorite time of the year! Unfortunately in Houston we do not have these beautiful colors; so your pictures are even more treasured. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved “setting sail” with you, Cindy.

    Mary V.

    On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 7:09 AM, Tuesdays in the Tallgrass wrote:

    > Cindy Crosby posted: “The forests are ablaze at the end of October; The > stained glass of trees Melts into the last smoldering embers of color. The > prairie becomes a vast sea of grass: waves and waves and waves of grass you > long to throw yours”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely comment, Mary! Thanks for all the work you do to preserve and restore prairie at Nachusa Grasslands — in so many different ways.


  4. Daniel Thompson

    How beautiful and calm is this page. You well demonstrate how nice and emotionally useful it is to slow down and observe and think about what we see. Outdoor ‘work’ we do does improve the land, but we should always consider how important things are done for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Daniel for your excellent observation on the need to slow down, pay attention, and reflect on our restoration work — and for your encouraging comment.


  6. Beautiful photos. I just read this, and had just finished my blog for tomorrow, and am always amazed at our like minds. “Horizon” is also at the end of my blog. This is one of the reasons I don’t read your blog until after I’ve written mine for that week, so I don’t accidentally absorb some of your thoughts into mine – but I’m happy to “after the fact.” Wonderful poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sondra, I’m so glad we both share a love for images and words about the natural world! I’m delighted we notice some of the same things and find the same words at times. No worries.


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