The first day of spring has come and gone.
Bees buzz about. Gardens green up. Blooms open.
While out in the tallgrass, volunteers burn the prairies.
Do you hear it? The crackle of flames, the pop-pop-pop of tallgrass igniting.
Do you feel the heat? A line of fire that licks along the edges of the charred prairie.
Do you smell the smoke? It rises from tinder of last year’s grasses and flowers. The prairie as we once knew it is gone in a matter of minutes.
The ashes and destruction of all we have known come before resurrection.
And with it: Beautiful blooms…
Colors so bright you need sunglasses to look…
And wings to fly.
Look! Something new is on the way. Built upon the work of years before; it begins to push up out of the scorched earth. It’s familiar, yet not quite the same.
There are surprises in store. Adventures, just around the corner.
Will you be there for them?
The prairie is waiting.
All photos copyright Cindy Crosby: (Top to bottom) viburnum (Viburnum farreri) with bee, Ground Cover Garden, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prescribed burn, Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prescribed burn, Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata); prairie coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata) and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL; butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) with insect, Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboreum, Lisle, IL; bees and beetles on prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya), Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; fritillary on rosin weed (Silphium integrifolium), Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; reflections of prairie grasses on Meadow Lake, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; sandhill cranes migrating across sun halo, author’s backyard prairie patch, Glen Ellyn, IL; interpretive prairie trail, Fermilab, Batavia, IL; pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida) and vervain (Verbena hastata) Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.