Beginnings

Morning dawns on the prairie.

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A lone red-winged blackbird calls. No breeze rustles the brittle, bleached out stands of little bluestem; the dry stalks of prairie switchgrass. The seedpods of of St. John’s wort and other bloomers have long since cracked open and dropped their seeds. There’s the promise of something new ready to germinate.

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Few flames from prescribed burns have touched the tallgrass here in Illinois … yet. But there is the rumor of fire.

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The temperatures have warmed. The wind whispers “it’s time.”

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Time for everything to begin again.

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To burn off the old; to spark something new.

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With the flames will go our memories of a season now past. What waits for us  …

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…will build on what went before, but is still unknown.

There is a sadness in letting go of what we have.

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Yet to not move forward– to shy away from that which that will seemingly destroy the tallgrass– is to set the prairie back. To keep it from reaching its full potential.

So we embrace the fire.

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We accept that things will change.  IMG_7100

 

We realize there will be surprises. Things we don’t expect.

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We strike the match. Say goodbye to ice and snow.

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Watch the prairie go up in flames.

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We wait to see what will appear.

On the other side of the fire.

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All photos copyright Cindy Crosby: (top to bottom) sunrise, Meadow Lake prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prairie grasses and Great St. John’s Wort (Hypericum pyramidatum), Meadow Lake prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prescribed burn, Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL; Willoway Brook, The Schulenberg Prairie, Lisle, IL; eastern cottontail, Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL;   prescribed burn, The Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prescribed burn sign, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; Meadow Lake prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prescribed burn, The Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; July on the Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL;  twin fawns, Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; Meadow Lake prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prescribed burn, Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL; two-track through Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL. 

 

16 responses to “Beginnings

  1. Great Tuesday morning. Thanks again Cindy, for a great start to the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful metaphor for life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful words and images, Cindy. This has got me even more excited about visiting prairie landscapes for the very first time next month! I’ve just finished reading your excellent essay in The Tallgrass Prairie Reader and would love to ask you some questions at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your marriage of words and photos is perfect poetry. I find that I’m learning so much from Tuesdays in the Tallgrass.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful images and thoughts. Burnings always somewhat emotional for us. Every spring, we think of the Potawatomi, the people of the fire, who lived here before us, and burned the prairies. Spring Valley forest preserve in Schaumburg has the burning in which public is invited to come in and watch the burning at the dusk.

    Like

  6. Out of the ashes will arise this year’s growth. See you there – -soon??

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Barbara Maxson

    So pretty.

    On Tue, Mar 8, 2016, 6:34 AM Tuesdays in the Tallgrass wrote:

    > Cindy Crosby posted: “Morning dawns on the prairie. A lone red-winged > blackbird calls. No breeze rustles the brittle, bleached out stands of > little bluestem; the dry stalks of prairie switchgrass. The seedpods of of > St. John’s wort and other bloomers have long since cracked” >

    Liked by 1 person

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