Tallgrass Time

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”— John Lubbock

June – and summer arrives on the prairie.

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As the prairie heats up, we slow down and observe more closely.



On one side of the trail, purple meadow rue shakes out her tassels.



On another, scurfy pea tumbles out its blooms.



Everywhere, bedstraw laces the prairie with white.


Occasionally, Scribner’s panic grass explodes in electric profusion.


Nothing to panic about. It all speaks of summer. A time to walk, to look, and to marvel. A time to pay attention.

The big story on the early June prairie is pale purple coneflower.




… alien-esque. The flowers bend and turn.


Petals emerge, sharp looking and spiky…


…then drop softly to the sides.



The plant takes on a new look, more badminton birdie than alien.



And you can’t help but feel joy in the presence of all that bright pinky-purple.


It’s the joy of the flowers. The happiness of the season. The delight in idling for a while on the prairie, and seeing what unfolds.

It’s summertime.

All photos by Cindy Crosby at the Schulenberg Prairie,  The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL (top to bottom): the prairie in June; red-winged blackbird with white wild indigo (Baptisia alba) ; purple meadow rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum) ; scurfy pea (Psoralidium tenuiflorum); Northern bedstraw (Galium boreale); Scribner’s panic  grass (Dichanthelium oligosanthes scribnerianum); all other photos pale purple coneflowers ((Echinacea pallida).

John Lubbock (1834-1913), whose quote begins this essay, was an English writer, botanist, archeologist, and contemporary of Charles Darwin.

8 responses to “Tallgrass Time

  1. Beautiful photographs. This is a great time to linger among the prairie forbs. My favorite time of year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the wildflowers and herbs. How may I subscribe?
    Meg Easling

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marilyn Illman

    Wow, Cindy. It is so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this time of the year as well! So many beautiful things to see on the prairie. Thank you for commenting!


  5. Love this! You’ve shared wonderful images here, and your writing is scrumptious, Cindy! That last photo of a profusion of pale purple coneflowers is sublime — it’s a kind of prairie heaven, wouldn’t you agree? So beautiful. And I’m smitten with Scribner’s panic grass! What a delightfully curious name! I’ve enjoyed this leisurely stroll through the June prairie with you! Thank you~

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love panic grass too! Thank you taking a “walk” with me, Amy!

    Liked by 1 person

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