Tag Archives: red admiral butterfly

Wings and Stings in the Prairie Garden

“Even as the people changed the prairie, it changed them.” —John Madson

*****

You know the old saying, “Grasp the nettle?”

Don’t do it.

Slender stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

I’ve always believed in facing tough issues head on. I like to get the worst over with. That’s what this popular phrase always meant to me. But I’ll never hear “grasp the nettle” in the same way again after this week’s encounter. The story goes like this… .

April 9, I delighted in a red admiral butterfly—the first of the year!—on an unknown plant which showed up by my back door this spring. A friend mentioned the pretty leaves looked like stinging nettles. How cool, I thought. The word “stinging” sort of went right over my head. Another acquaintance noted that nettles are a host plant for several butterflies, but! I should be sure and wear gloves if I touched the plant.

Red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) on slender stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL. The purple flowering plant in the left-hand corner is the non-native dead nettle (Lamium purpureum), no relation.

All I heard was “butterflies.” Illinois Wildflowers notes that in addition to the red admiral butterfly, the comma butterfly…

Eastern comma butterfly (Polygonia comma), The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. (2022)

…the question mark butterfly…

Question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL. (2014)

…and the Milbert’s tortoiseshell butterfly all use this plant. I love butterfly host plants! What’s not to like? Well.

Fast forward five weeks from that April sighting. Monday night, I decided to check the plants for caterpillars. Yes! There they were. Excited, I pried back the rolled leaves. One caterpillar… three… six… . It was about then when I realized I had made a mistake. It felt as if red hot needles were searing my fingers! As I read later, the hairs on the stinging nettle leaves shoot irritants directly into your skin.

Googling quickly, my husband Jeff and I read that soap and water will alleviate some of the pain of stinging nettles. Even better—sticking duct tape to the affected area and ripping it off will supposedly remove some of the plant’s chemicals. We gave it a go. It did help.

Duct tape is evidently a magical cure for just about anything.

I’ve gardened since I was six years old, so how did I miss stinging nettles? This was my first—and hopefully my last—up close and personal experience with them. On the happy side, we have lots of red admiral caterpillars, in what appear to be their third or fourth instar.

Red admiral butterfly caterpillar (Vanessa atalanta) on slender stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

Each caterpillar has rolled itself into a nettle leaf for shelter, almost like a half-open cannoli. The leaves are partially eaten away. Tiny black balls of frass—otherwise known as insect poop—stay in the leaf with the caterpillars. Can you spot the frass in the photo above?

Ted Scott, a Utah butterfly expert, says that as soon as one leaf is mostly consumed, the red admiral caterpillars will move to a different leaf for another meal.

Red admiral butterfly caterpillar (Vanessa atalanta) on slender stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

Before long, Scott notes, the caterpillars should form chrysalises. He documents the process here—take a look.

If I look for chrysalises later this month, I’ll be more careful. The genus “Urtica” (from the Latin) is variously said to mean “to sting” or “to burn.” I can vouch for this.

As I nursed my painful skin, I read that nettles have a rich history in literature. In Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, The Wild Swans, the princess must weave or knit shirts from nettles while staying silent to save her 11 brothers.

From Fairy Tales Told to Children, 1838, Denmark.

She looks pretty calm in that picture above. I’m impressed she could do the work without shouting.

I also discovered that some species of nettles are also used in textile work, resulting in a surprisingly soft cloth. Other species have been used medicinally, and by foragers in culinary dishes. Prepared carefully, I would assume. English poet Aaron Hill had a popular poem “Nettle” in the 1700s which began, “Tender handed, stroke a nettle, and it stings you for your pains… .” He sounds like he knows what he’s writing about.

Is the stinging nettle a blessing? Or a curse? I may need to place yellow crime scene tape around the nettles by our back door to keep unwary visitors from touching the plant. Not very attractive. Should I keep the nettles? As a native plant lover, I’ve never had a dilemma quite like this one. Even if these nettles are a native, like my golden alexanders…

Golden alexanders (Zizia aurea), Crosby’s front yard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

…or my just-about-to-bloom prairie alumroot…

Prairie alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

…stinging nettles are tougher sell. I will probably let the caterpillars use the plants this spring. After that? I’m not sure I want to risk another encounter. What do you think?

Of course, long after the pain is forgotten, won’t the red admiral butterflies be wonderful to see?

Red admiral butterfly caterpillar (Vanessa atalanta), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL. (2021)

Worth the stings.

I think.

But next time I look for caterpillars on nettles, I’m wearing gloves.

*****

The opening quote is from John Madson (1923-1995), once editor of Iowa Conservationist magazine and journalist for the Des Moines Register. His classic book, Where the Sky Began (1982) remains a touchstone for prairie stewards everywhere. This quote is taken from a collection of his essays, Our Home. (1979). Read a longer excerpt in John T. Price’s wonderful collection of essays, The Tallgrass Prairie Reader (2014).

*****

Join Cindy for a program or class!

Dragonflies and Damselflies: Frequent Fliers of the Garden and Prairie, Tuesday, May 16, 10-11:30 CT via Zoom with the Garden Club of Decatur, IL (closed event for members). For information on joining the club, visit here.

The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction–on National Prairie Day! Saturday, June 3, 1-2:30 p.m. CT, Sterling Farmer’s Market (at the Pavilion) in Sterling, IL. Free and open to the public. Indoors in case of rain.

Literary Gardens Online –-Wednesday, June 7, 7-8:15 p.m. CT, Bensenville Public Library, Bensenville, IL, via Zoom. Free but you must register to receive the link (participation may be limited to first sign ups). For more information and to register, contact the library at 630-766-4642.

“In Conversation Online with Robin Wall Kimmerer,” June 21, 2023, 7-8 pm CT via Zoom. Brought to you by “Illinois Libraries Present.” Number of registrations available may be limited, so register here soon.

Beginning Dragonfly and Damselfly ID — Friday, June 23, 8:30am-12:30 pm CT, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. Registration coming soon.

More classes and programs at www.cindycrosby.com

A Spring Prairie Ballot

“Every spring is…a perpetual astonishment.”—Brother Cadfael

*****

It’s election day in the Chicago Region. After casting my vote, I’ll be ready to clear my head of being buffaloed by a deluge of ads, strident television commercials, and unwanted texts (how did they get my phone number, anyway?)

Bison (Bison bison), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

I’m casting my vote for a prairie hike. A vote for spring.

Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) with spring bulbs, Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL (2022).

What’s on the ballot today? Warm weather for starters. This past week (and possibly today) we can expect tornadoes, severe storms, high winds, hail, and a deluge of rain that makes keeping my kayak handy sound like a good idea. I plan to keep a close eye on the weather radar and listen to weatherman Tom Skilling.

Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) over Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

In my backyard pond, the first marsh marigolds open.

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

Typically, it’s the first native plant in my yard to bloom each year, following my non-native daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, and snowdrops. It’s important not to confuse my marsh marigolds with the non-native, very aggressive lesser celandine (Ficaria verna) which takes over wet areas in neighborhoods and forest preserves.

Invasive non-native lesser celandine, sometimes called fig buttercup (Ficaria verna) Willowbrook Wildlife Center, DuPage Forest Preserve, Glen Ellyn, IL.(2022)

An easy way to tell the native and the non-native apart is to flip a bloom over. The lesser celandine has three green sepals on the back of the bloom; the marsh marigold does not.

The aggressive non-native lesser celandine (Ficaria verna) on the left; the native marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) on the lower right. (2022)

Worth watching for this spring, and learning the difference.

Red admiral butterflies are usually quick to show up around marsh marigold bloom time.

Red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL. (2021)

I’m on high alert for the first one in my backyard. As I walk around in the mud, looking for early butterflies, I see the purple hyacinths are in bloom. Ahhh! What a heavenly fragrance.

Purple hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

But what’s this? Some of our backyard wildlife has sampled the flowers, then ruthlessly tossed them aside.

Broken stem of purple hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis), on top of the prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ugh. Looking closely, I find more hyacinth blooms, stripped and tossed into the prairie dropseed. My eyes narrow. I scan the yard for the culprit. Then, I look up.

Eastern fox squirrel (Sciuris niger), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL. (Undated)

“Who, me?” He’s blaming the chipmunks.

Moving away from the ruined hyacinths, I check the two native spicebush shrubs which seem to have escaped wildlife damage over the winter. The first flower buds are open!

Northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

Charming! I recently read that all parts of Lindera benzoin are said to be edible, including the buds, twigs, flowers and fruit. This pair was planted in 2021, sourced from Possibility Place Nursery, knowing that northern spicebush is a host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly. I’ve never seen the spicebush swallowtail in my yard, but I have high hopes. How have my other native shrubs fared? No flowers on my witch hazel this year, but it’s still young. Next to it, the two-year-old native hazelnut shrub has its first catkins.

American hazelnut (Corylus americana), Crosby’s yard, Glen Ellyn, IL. Note the cut stems!

But—oh no oh no oh no—the bunnies have been busy. Lots of small branches sheared off. How could you? Wascally wabbits! The writer Michael Pollan once wrote in his book, Second Nature, that planting a garden clears the mind of any easy sentiments about wildlife, and nature in general. Hopefully, now that there is more green stuff available to eat, the eastern cottontails will leave my shrubs alone.

Meanwhile, Jacob’s ladder is in bud.

Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

And look at that shooting star! The bunchy leaves are crisp and healthy-looking.

Shooting star (Dodecatheon meadii or Primula meadia), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

I can’t wait to see the flowers in early to mid-May.

Shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia or Primula meadia), Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. (2018)

The few flowers I have in my backyard are beautiful, but they pale in comparison to those massed on the remnant prairies.

Shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia or Primula meadia), Beach Cemetery Prairie, Ogle County, IL. (2022)

In the raised beds, last year’s Italian parsley is resurrecting. My parsley is an open-pollinated biennial, which means if I let it grow this spring, it will eventually set seed. I’m not sure I want to do that—parsley seed doesn’t cost much—but it might be fun to see the flowers. It’s a good host plant for black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.

Italian parsley (Petroselinum crispum), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

The garlic has put on noticeable growth. However, the raised beds need more compost and topsoil. Dirt has a way of settling.

Garlic (Allium sativum), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

There are some noticeable plant absences. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, where, oh where, is my prairie smoke? And what has happened to the prairie alumroot? It’s coming up, although a bit nibbled.

Prairie alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii), Crosby’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL.

But no sign of the prairie smoke. Fingers crossed.

Out on the prairies, charred earth shows that the site staff and volunteers have been busy.

Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

The storms and showers forecast for today will quickly mist them with green. Spring is here, and on her prairie and garden ballot are a hundred thousand unfolding miracles each day.

Pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL. (Undated)

You only need to show up and pay attention.

Why not go see?

******

The opening quote is from Brother Cadfael, a fictional character in the book A Raven in the Foregate. His character was created by novelist Edith Pargeter (1913-1995) known by her pen name as Ellis Peters. “The Cadfael Chronicles” is a murder mystery series set in the Abbey of Shrewsbury during medieval times, and features this Welsh Benedictine monk, who joins the order after years spent as a soldier. The books were later adapted for television. Pargeter was the recipient of the Edgar Award and Silver Dagger Award for her writing, and authored many other books outside the series. If you haven’t read her books, I’d start with the first in “The Cadfael Chronicles,” A Morbid Taste for Bones.

******

Join Cindy for a Class or Program

Tonight! The Tallgrass Prairie: Grocery Store, Apothecary, and Love Charm Shop: April 4, 7-8:30 pm. Free and open to the public. Presented by the Winfield Area Gardeners. For more information and location, visit here.

A Brief History of Trees in America: April 5 (Closed event for the Illinois Garden Council). Chicago Western Suburbs.

Literary Gardens — In Person — April 11, 7-8:30 p.m., Glenview Garden Club and Glenview Public Library. Free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Register here.

Illinois’ Wild and Wonderful Early Bloomers — Monday, April 17, 5-6 p.m., Rock River Garden Club, Dixon, IL. (Closed event for members)

The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction — Tuesday, April 18, Algonquin Garden Club, 12:30-2 p.m. (Closed event for members)

Spring Wildflower and EthnobotanyWalk—Thursday, April 20, 8:30-10:30 am or Saturday, April 29, 8:30-10:30am at The Morton Arboretum. Registration information here. (Both walks SOLD OUT, ask to be put on a waiting list)

The Tallgrass Prairie in Popular Culture –Sunday, April 23, 2-5 p.m. The Land Conservancy’s 32nd Annual Celebration, High Tea at the McHenry Country Club, Woodstock, IL. Tickets are $45-$70 — available here.

More classes and programs at www.cindycrosby.com

Dragonfly Summer on the Prairie

“Deep in July…counting clouds floating by…how we thrive deep in dragonfly summer.”—Michael Franks

*****

It’s all smooth jazz on the tallgrass prairie this week, from sunrise to sunset.

Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

The prairie hits its groove as it swings through mid-July. In the dewy mornings, by a tallgrass stream….

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

…the vibe is especially mellow. Water flows over stones. A few cumulous clouds drift over. In the tallgrass, the dragonflies warm up their flight muscles. Ready for a hot and humid day.

Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (male) (Perithemis tenera), Schulenberg Prairie, Lisle, IL.

As the temperatures rise, the dragonflies rise with them. Time for breakfast. Dragonflies hover over our heads; patrol ponds.

Common green darner (Anax junius), East Side, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL.

Often they perch nearby on a downed log…

Common whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia), Schulenberg Prairie, Lisle, IL.

Or an upright twig.

Halloween pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina), Schulenberg Prairie, Lisle, IL.

No need to chase them today. If you startle one, it may fly off, then loop back to its original perch.

Their kissing cousins, the damselflies, stake out streams…

Female ebony jewelwing damselfly (Calopteryx maculata), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

… hang out in ponds.

Familiar bluet (Enallagma civile), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

On the prairie, damselflies hover right above my boots.

Springwater dancer damselfly (Argia plana), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

As my eyes get older, it’s more difficult to see them. So tiny! But if I’m patient, and don’t rush my hike, there they are. Right in front of my eyes.

Variable dancer (Argia fumipennis), Schulenberg Prairie, Lisle, IL.

The eastern forktail damselflies, one of our most common species, are also one of the easiest to spot. Look for that bright green head and thorax, and the tiny blue tip of the abdomen. It’s bright amid the tall grasses.

Eastern forktail (Ischnura verticalis), Schulenberg Prairie, Lisle, IL.

Spreadwing damselflies are less common than the forktails on my hikes. I get a jolt of joy when I spot one half-hidden in a shady cool spot.

Slender spreadwing (Lestes unguiculatus), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

As I hike, I see more than dragonflies. Moths flit through the grasses.

Chickweed geometer moth (Haematopis grataria), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

Butterflies puddle in the gravel two-tracks through the prairie.

Red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

Wildflowers continue their exuberant displays…

Royal catchfly (Silene regia), Schulenberg Prairie, Lisle, IL.
Blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya), Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL.

…making it difficult to look at anything but blooms.

Biennial Gaura (Gaura biennis), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

And yet. There’s so much to see on the July prairie.

Bison (Bison bison), Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL.

Why not go take a hike and listen to that “smooth jazz” for yourself?

*****

Michael Franks (1944-) is a singer and songwriter, whose lyrics from the song Dragonfly Summer kick off this blog post. His songs have been recorded by Diana Krall, Ringo Starr, Patti Austin, Manhattan Transfer, Art Garfunkel, and Lyle Lovett — just to name a few. Listen to his song Dragonfly Summer from the album of the same name here.

*****

Join Cindy for a class or program this summer!

Virtual Summer Prairie Wildflower Walk: online Thursday, July 22, 10-11:30 a.m. Offered through The Morton Arboretum. No matter where you live, join me on Zoom to see the amazing summer tallgrass prairie wildflowers and hear their stories of uses in medicine, folklore, poetry, and even as love charms! Register here.

Tallgrass Prairie Ecology Online: Work through online materials and post your stories about prairie to the discussion boards beginning August 2; learn from other prairie stewards and volunteers about their challenges and success stories.  Join a Live Zoom with Cindy on Wednesday, August 11, from noon-1 p.m. CDT. The coursework is available for 60 days. Learn more and register here.

*****

Cindy’s book, Chasing Dragonflies, is on sale at Northwestern University Press for 40% off the cover price until July 31! Click here to order — be sure and use Code SUN40 at checkout. Limit 5. See website for full details!

Chasing Dragonflies

Prairie by the Numbers

“It was, at last, the time of the flowers.” — Paul Gruchow

****

Oh, what a difference a little rain makes!

raincominginGE5418.jpg

Spring has arrived in the Chicago region—at last, at last! The savannas and prairies are awash in color and motion. Warblers and butterflies everywhere you look…

redadmiralGE5618wm

…garter snakes sashaying out in the bright light to sun themselves…

gartersnakeapril2018SPMAwm.jpg

…and of course the wildflowers, in all their amazing complexity.

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My Tuesday morning prairie team is busy updating our plant inventory, a daunting task that has run into its second season. This spring, we are looking for a hundred or so plants out of the 500 from the inventory that we couldn’t find in 2017. The last complete prairie inventory was wrapped up in 2005, so we need a check-in on what’s still here, and what has disappeared or moved into the prairie. Knowing the plants we have will help us make better decisions on how to care for the site.

This is a high-quality planted 100-acre prairie, wetland, and savanna, which is almost in its sixth decade. Some call it the fourth oldest planted prairie in North America! So we feel the heavy weight of responsibility to get our numbers right.

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Its a prairie with some beautiful blooms—and some quirky ones as well. This week, our “oohs” and “ahhs” are for common valerian (Valeriana edulis var. ciliata), a high-quality—and despite its name—uncommon prairie plant. Flora of the Chicago Region gives it the highest possible plant score — a perfect “C” value of “10.”

valerianSPMA5618wm.jpeg

We’ve been hot on the trail of three more common but elusive plants that we’d missed in the spring of 2017: skunk cabbage, marsh marigold, and rue anemone.  Some adventurous members of the team discovered the skunk cabbage in April, poking through the muck in a deep gully. Now, two weeks later, it is much easier to see.

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The marsh marigold listed on our 2005 inventory, a beautiful spring native wildflower…

marshmarigolds5618wmGE.jpg

…turned out to be a single plant, hiding among some fig buttercup (Ficaria verna) a pernicious, non-native invasive wetland species. We’ll remove the fig buttercup so it doesn’t spread across the waterway.

The missing rue anemone went from invisible to visible last week after storms moved through the area and greened up the savanna. Such a delicate wildflower!  Easy to miss unless you find a large colony.

rueanemoneSPMAsavwm5318

Looking for specific plants as we’re doing now results in some serendipity. Our plant inventory team found harbinger of spring for the first time in our site’s history while looking for the marsh marigold. A new species for our site —and so tiny! Who knows how long we’ve overlooked it here.

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In addition to the inventory, most of us are weeding garlic mustard, a persistent invasive plant that infests disturbed areas around the prairie. One of the perks of weeding is we make other discoveries, such as wild ginger blooms. You might flip hundreds of wild ginger plant leaves over before you find the first flower. Pretty good occupation for a warm and windy afternoon, isn’t it?

wildgingerMASPsavWM4418.jpg

The rains also prompted large-flowered trillium to open. These won’t last long.

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Look closely below behind the trillium and you’ll see the white trout lily gone to seed. All around, blooms are throwing themselves into bud, bloom, and seed production. Sometimes, seemingly overnight.

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Updating a plant inventory plus a little judicious garlic mustard weeding will teach you how little you know about what is happening in your little corner of the plant world. I see plants that look familiar, but their name eludes me. It takes numerous trips through my favorite plant ID guides to get reacquainted. I also look in vain for old favorites which seem to have disappeared. (Where, oh where, is our birdfoot violet?)

Spring keeps you on your toes. It reminds you to be amazed. It constantly astonishes you with its sleight of hand; prolifically giving new species and flagrantly taking them away. And as always, there are a few surprises.

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Ah. The “elusive, rare” red tulip! Where did that come from? Huh.

Just when you think you know a flower, it turns up a a little different color, or gives you a new perspective on its life cycle. To see the wood betony at this stage always throws those new to the prairie for a loop. Almost ferny, isn’t it?

woodbetonySPMAwm5418.jpg

Barely a hint now of what it will be when it grows up. Same for the prairie dock, tiny fuzzy leaves lifting above the ashes of the burn.

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Or the hepatica, most of its petal-like sepals gone, but the green bracts now visible. Looks like a different plant than when it was in full bloom.

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Pasque flower is now past bloom. As stewards, we turn our thoughts toward the first seed collection of the season and propagation for the next year. If a species is gone, or seems to be dwindling, we’ll consider replanting to maintain the diversity of the prairie.

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We tally up the numbers, check off plant species. Update scientific names which have changed. But no matter how the spreadsheets read, we know one thing for certain.

What a glorious time of year it is! Spring on the prairie is worth the wait.

*****

The opening quote is from Journal of a Prairie Year by Minnesota writer Paul Gruchow (1947-2004). Worth re-reading every spring.

***

Unless noted, all photos copyright Cindy Crosby, taken at the Schulenberg Prairie and Savanna, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL (top to bottom): thunderhead moving in over the author’s backyard prairie patch, Glen Ellyn, IL;  red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta), author’s backyard, Glen Ellyn, IL; garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) sunning itself on the prairie; Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria); gravel two-track greening up in the rain; common valerian (Valeriana edulis var. ciliata); skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus); marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), author’s backyard pond, Glen Ellyn, IL; rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides); harbinger of spring (Erigenia bulbosa); wild ginger (Asarum canadense reflexum); large-flowered white trillium (Trillium grandiflora); prairie trillium (Trillium recurvatum recurvatum); red tulip (Tulipa unknown species); wood betony (Pendicularis canadensus); prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum) emerging; hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba); pasque flowers (Pulsatilla patens) fading.