prairies

A Short Biography of Floyd Swink

The following is a snapshot of the Wikipedia page I created for Dr. Floyd A. Swink (Floyd Swink) as of July 30th, 2018, with helpful additions from Mark Kluge. Please view the latest version of the Wikipedia page for references and the most up-to-date version:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Swink Consider directly editing the Wikipedia page if you have …

A Short Biography of Floyd SwinkRead More »

Prairie Silhouette

A 4:23PM sunset really sneaks up on you. You’re enjoying the golden brown prairie hues and suddenly it’s nearly pitch black. The middle photo above is a naturalized stormwater detention basin burned this fall. The following prairie plant silhouettes are from Blackberry Trail Forest Preserve in Kendall County, IL. Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant) Sorghastrum nutans …

Prairie SilhouetteRead More »

Fall Prairie at Jay Woods

One of the brightest prairie flowers blooming right now is New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), here with the ellipsoid (egg-shaped) seed heads of grey-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), whose seeds, by the way, smell pleasant enough to rid your hands of snake musk if you ever happen to be looking to remove that particular odor from …

Fall Prairie at Jay WoodsRead More »

Prescribed Fire from Above

While working on a grant for restoration activity at Wolf Road Prairie earlier this year [Eliminate Phragmites Campaign!], I noticed a burn from this past spring was visible on Google Earth! Here is what the prairie normally looks like from above: and here is the photo from March 12th of this year. The sidewalks built …

Prescribed Fire from AboveRead More »

Knowing America

The following is a quote by notable botanist Gerould Wilhelm, in the book A Natural History of the Chicago Region by Joel Greenburg. He is recounting an early experience from his time with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, assessing whether different areas were suitable (low-quality enough) to dump dredge materials. We visited thirteen sites …

Knowing AmericaRead More »