“The prairie showcased its variegated display of wildflowers…on par with the most colorful children’s kaleidoscope.” — Steven Apfelbaum
Mercurial July runs hot and cold; wet and dry. She hands out fistfuls of flowers.
And more flowers.
And even more flowers.
So many blooms! It’s overwhelming, in the best possible way.
The insects approve.
Listen! Can you hear them spread the message? It’s in the whir of wings.
In the vibration of buzz.
Everywhere you look, there’s a whole lotta pollination going on.
… and damselflies…
…add their own whir of wings to the insect hubub. Dragonflies and damselflies don’t pollinate plants, but they enjoy eating the mosquitoes and insects which do.
The summer days pass quickly. Too quickly.
Big bluestem makes its move for the sky. So soon?
Early goldenrod bursts into bloom.
Goldenrod? Wait….what? You can’t help but think: Autumn.
I push that thought aside. For now, it’s summer. I’m going to take it slow. July’s color, light, and motion fill the air.
Every moment is worth paying attention to.
How will you spend July?
The opening quote is by Steven Apfelbaum (1954-) from Nature’s Second Chance. The chapter it is taken from, “Getting to Know Your Neighbors,” is one of my favorites in contemporary prairie literature. How do you explain a prairie to those who see the land as purely utilitarian? It can be done, but it’s not always easy. If you haven’t read Apfelbaum’s book, check it out 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.