April Showers

April showers on the prairie bring… mud.

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But for the discerning eye, life stirs.

Grasses loop out of the ground.

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The first marsh marigolds are a bit of welcome sunshine in the rain.

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Grassy reflections shine and swirl  on prairie ponds, streams, and waterways.

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Wait–are those hedgehogs?  Pincushions? No, just spiky blades of prairie dropseed, needling out of their hummocks.IMG_4103.jpg

 

Listen!

You’ll hear a killdeer calling its name: kill-deer! kill-deer! The nest is a simple scraped-out depression where the bird will sit, camouflaged against the rocks and twigs.

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The first rattlesnake master shoots push through the mud and ashes, looking a lot like yucca. Some were nipped by the late spring prescribed burn.

They’re tough. They’ll survive.

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Bloodroot blooms in the prairie savanna. A fleeting pleasure, as the petals drop off a day or two after the flowers are pollinated.

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April showers bring more than mud. There’s a lot happening on the prairie this week.

Take time to see.

 

All photos copyright Cindy Crosby: (top to bottom): mud season on the Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prairie grasses, Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris), author’s backyard prairie pond, Glen Ellyn, IL: tallgrass reflections, Meadow Lake prairie plantings, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; tallgrass reflections, Meadow Lake prairie plantings, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Meadow Lake prairie plantings, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; killdeer, Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL.

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