Archive | Pat’s Comments RSS feed for this section

What’s in Bloom in my Garden Today?

What’s in Bloom Today? Violets–Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) and Confederate Violet (Viola priceana) grow in the garden and the lawn.  They are considered weedy and some people try to rid their lawn of them, but I consider them delightful wherever they are.   Dog-tooth Violets or Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum) are abundant now.  Karen […]

Has the Sky Fallen?

Has the sky fallen? No, it’s Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica), a European lawn weed that has naturalized in the lawns of large older historic homes in near northwest neighborhood in Elgin.     An abandoned house in my neighborhood last spring, contained not only Squills. but daffodils and Penn Sedge, as well. Two miniature, cobalt blue […]

What Do These ThreeTrees Have in Common?

What do these three trees have in common? They are all called Blue Beech  (Carpinus  caroliniana) 10/28/07 Trout Park  Elgin.  Blue Beech growing wild next to the trail Blue Beech at Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe 8/30/09 Dick Young describes Carpinus caroliniana as “a light gray, smooth-barked tree to 30’, with undulating, muscle-like ripples in the […]

Book Report

Book Report I belong to an Environmental Book Club and I encourage all of you to begin or join one. Invite like-minded friends to create one in your area–there is no end of books to read concerning the environment. What books to read?  There are old ones:  Small is Beautiful, E.F. Schumacher, 1973; new ones:Eaarth: […]

Through the Year 2016   January My Street Corner–I do love winter’s long blue shadows.   Late February-Early March  The catkins of American Hazelnut  (Corylus americana), formed last summer, elongate and spill their golden pollan, showy in the still drab landscape. In March, Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) is the first to bloom in my patio […]

Snow Catchers

During winter the winds come in crisp and invigorating from across the prairies.  At this season of the year the landscape assumes a dreary look to many who do not understand.  But to others, when the gray arms of the cottonwood are illuminated by the January sun and silhouetted against the blue sky, when sleeping […]

Thanksgiving 2016

This was the 2014 Thanksgiving essay.  I have more to add this year: Kane County Forest Preserve of Illinois invited Kent Nerburn, author of several books about American Indians, to speak at a program earlier in November.   Several people from Northern Kane County Wild Ones and/or Ruthless Readers, our Environmental Book Club, attended. Three […]

Where is Jack Frost?

Where is Jack Frost? He is late–in previous years, he always came around 8 October, my mother-in-law’s birthday. Actually, it’s not Jack Frost that causes leaves to turn color. What causes leaves to turn color in the fall?   Shorter day lengths and cooler temperatures trigger the leaves to discontinue the production of chlorophyll, allowing […]

Asters, Like Prophets, Are Without Honor in Their Own Country

  “Asters, like prophets, are without honor in their own country,” said Louise Wilder Beebe.  Known as “Michaelmas Daisies” because they bloom around St. Michaelmas Day on September 29, asters are held in high esteem by English and other European gardeners, while we in the United States distain them as common weeds.  They have to […]

Eye-catching August-September Berries of Herbaceous Plants

Eye-catching Late Summer-early Fall Berries of Herbaceous Plants.   The deep blue berries of  Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum canaliculatum)  dangle from a gracefully arched stem beginning in late summer.  It is common in woodlands, along roadsides, under telephone wires,  in fencerows, woodland edges, under open grown trees and in thickets. (Swink & Wilhelm Plants of the […]