Tag Archives: Natural World

A Light Dusting Of Snow

Such a gloomy winter we have had–brown grass and gray skies. But look what just a light dusting of snow will do: Bluff Spring Fen, Elgin  1/16/07  The large trees are Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa), while the smaller trees are Hill’s Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis).  A red oak, it has pointed bristled-tipped glossy green  leaves that […]

We Lived on a Hill

We Lived on a Hill Maggie Soliz Our big old house in the country sat right in the middle of a hill.  From the top of the driveway to the end of the yard our hill was filled with trees, wildflowers, an abandoned fish pond, an overgrown orchard and gardens and sidewalks to nowhere. What […]

PAWPAW, SPIKENARD, SPICEBUSH, and WITCH HAZEL, OH MY

PAWPAW, SPIKENARD, SPICEBUSH, and WITCH HAZEL October Golden-leaved Plant Community  A group of unusual plants  grows along the south end of the  savanna in Potawatomi Park that is located between the  parkbuilding and the Fox River.  Shaded by a gigantic Linden or Basswood (Tilia americana) tree, the low ground never completely dries out. Paw Paw […]

Flaming Vine

Flaming Vine  …and the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame,                                 September Song   Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) creeps along the ground in mesic woods until it comes to a tall tree and then climbs to the top.  Not […]

Jens Jensen Council Ring–A Memorial

It was a perfect Sunday afternoon. A surprisingly large group of Elgin High School’s Class of 1959 gathered under a Shagbark Hickory tree at the edge of a savanna on the grounds of the high school.  They were there to dedicate a memorial to their class sponsor and former Biology teacher, Gus Stuart. The memorial […]

Our Only World

I went to Book Club last Friday night. So–”why should we care? “ you say. It is 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. Ours  takes place on […]

GREEN AND WHITE GARDEN

Green and White Gardens   The Smooth Hydrangeas seen around the area seem to be larger and more robust that usual–I assume from all the rain we’ve been having–Hydrangea and hydrate come from the Greek word hudor, meaning water. I went outside yesterday afternoon to take some photographs of my ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangeas to use to […]

Wild Blue Phlox–Success at Last

Wild Blue Phlox  I have tried in vain to grow Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) that would last for more than one season;  I was never successful until now.  I have replanted more Wild Blue Phlox than any other plant in my garden.  No, make that more than all the plants I have replaced in […]

Prairie Grasses in Winter

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 […]

More Winter Interest:Persistant Leaves

  More Winter Interest Persistent Leaves Some deciduous trees (mostly oaks) hang on to their brown crackly leaves all winter, not dropping them until spring. 12/27/2010  Lord’s Park Lagoon.   White Oak (Quercus alba) hangs unto its leaves through the winter when it is young, but as it ages, the leaves fall off in autumn. […]