Category: Countrysides

  • Donkeys, Guardians of the Farm

    Donkeys, Guardians of the Farm

    The donkey, often misunderstood and underappreciated, is instead an intelligent and independent thinking animal. Their stubborn behavior only arises when they perceive a threat to their own safety and self-preservation. A donkey will never do anything that it considers unsafe, rather it will dig its hooves into ground to make itself immovable.

  • A Prospering Colony

    A Prospering Colony

    John Muir once said “Most people are on the world, not in it”, on a peaceful May afternoon I was truly in the world. At the edge of Tomahawk Slough there is an oak savanna. Within this oak savanna lay a colony of white trout lily. These lovely spring ephemerals spread across the burnt logs and rising…

  • Hidden Gold Mine

    Hidden Gold Mine

    Like a typical gold mine, this one is brimming with the brilliant, shiny golden objects. Though these gems are not nuggets but instead the yellow flowers of the marsh marigold. A delightful harbinger to spring, the marsh marigold makes a brief, spectacular appearance in late April through early May, then it disappears as fast as…

  • Bergman Slough Super Moon

    Bergman Slough Super Moon

    Coyotes howl in the distance as the frost super moon rises over Bergman Slough. Smoke from a prairie fire lingers in the air to enhance the mysterious aura of the night.

  • Starved Rock Canyon Walls

    Starved Rock Canyon Walls

    Deep inside Illinois Canyon, the glowing St. Peter Sandstone cracked walls surround a burnt-out tree. Once a home to birds, insects and small animals, the charred tree truck now precariously rises above fallen autumn leaves in an attempt to make its last stand. Inside Ottawa Canyon, green tarnished boulders fall like teardrops from the the…

  • Queen Anne’s Lace

    Queen Anne’s Lace

    Whether you consider the Queen Anne’s Lace invasive or an elegant delight, its delicate beauty is a sight to behold. The bright white flowers of the Queen Anne’s Lace can be found almost anywhere, lining our Midwestern highways or in open prairies. Their pink petals surround tiny lace like flowers which in turn hid an…

  • Snow Blanket

    Snow Blanket

    Covered in a blanket of snow, the sugar maple trees and dark spring-fed waters of Black Partridge Woods create a magical winter wonderland. The snow-kissed sugar maples stand guard over the spring-fed stream at Black Partridge Woods. The tranquil waters meander around snow covered logs and boulders on their way into the snowy paradise.

  • Once Lost Now Found

    Once Lost Now Found

    Previously overlooked, ignored, forgotten or lost? Regardless the reasons, rediscovery of these odds and ends has been a treat. From autumn’s hues to spring’s delights, what was once lost has again been found. Creamy water glistens down the waterfall at Lake Falls in Matthiessen State Park in Illinois. The cascading spray provides a conducive environment…

  • Forgotten Flowers

    Forgotten Flowers

    Summer’s beauty has gone and now these aging wildflowers go barely noticed. The change of seasons has taken its toll, withering them into woody remains. With little resemblance to their previous delicacy and elegance, one has to look closer to see the beauty in their death. Stems, baskets and pods hold the seeds of a…

  • Autumn Color

    Autumn Color

    Can’t see the forest for the trees, my feeling as I wandered the forest floor. Lost in autumn’s wonderland, trees stretching vertically toward the sky and leaves exploding in vibrant colors. Too much minutiae with little significance but how does it all fit together? Nature’s fanfare before winter’s rest; autumn color. Wilting goldenrod and joe-pye…