Tag Archives | Natural World

Prairie Dropseed snow

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 […]

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Ostrya virginiana

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. […]

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patio snowcatcher

Snow Catchers

Snow Catchers  Snow transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Dull landscapes turn into breathtaking splendors and, trite though it sounds, into a winter wonderland.  Plant horizontally branched trees and shrubs to catch the snow and hold it aloft until it melts.  Bur and White Oaks with their burly outstretched arms do it best; their open […]

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elderberry

The First Thanksgiving

  Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of Harvest-home; All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin.  Henry Alfred  1810-187  The First Thanksgiving What is now called the First Thanksgiving was actually a Harvest Festival, popular in England, and, indeed, all over the world, including the New World. The Pilgrims and […]

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Valerie savanna joe pye

Save Our Savannas

Which is worse? This?  Buckthorn-choked savanna? Or this? A lawn grown under the oak trees, mowed, fertilized, and watered on a regular basis. Well, this one certainly looks better, carefully kept, all neat and tidy. I hope you already know the answer.  Actually, they are both terrible.  Both sites guarantee the demise of our oak […]

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kettle Nov

Fiery Fall Foliage

Fiery Fall Foliage First Week in November The Chicago area landscape was formed by ice.  As the Wisconsin glacier receded about 13,000 years ago, it deposited glacial till it had collected when it moved forward—boulders, stones, gravel, sand, and clay particles—and built overlapping moraines.  The material dropped out unevenly thereby creating rolling hills, ridges, and […]

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Cynthia 3

A Gift

A Gift I have hundreds of flowers in my gardens and somehow this unique Echinacea, growing in the garden next to my driveway, escaped my notice until last week.  I looked it up on the web and found that it’s called ‘All That Jazz’ Echinacea. (Echinacea purpurea ‘All that Jazz.’)  The quilled petals are stunning; […]

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