We have lost much of what was America— the prominent tallgrass prairies of our Midwest, the natural look of this land.
Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
Where, within open spaces dominated by the towering seedheads of big bluestem, Indiangrass and switchgrass, wildflowers on leggy stems emerged from between the broad, toothed leaves of prairie dock. Fields were sprinkled with shades of lavender in spreading stands of wild bergamot. Blankets of purple coneflower, rested beneath reaching rods of blazingstar. And a lovely, wild lily was found here-- head nodding from a tall, slender stem.
Sullivant's Milkweed, Asclepias sullivantii
Wild Burgamot, Monarda fistulosa
Michigan Lily,Lilium michiganense
Onto fertile, black earth, the steel plow arrived, to turn and till these plains— plant crops for a growing nation. Until today, only fragments remain. Of those hardy prairie plants, tough enough to withstand the droughts claiming others less well-rooted, the fires necessary for their survival. Once covering more than a million acres, the wild beauties of Ohio’s Tallgrass have become a sight you, now, must search to see.
Trumpeter Swans and cygnets on lake
Past a small, yellow farmhouse and its neighboring cell tower straddling dense, deep rows of green corn, is Killdeer Plains, a remnant of the Sandusky Plains Prairie of long ago. Its gravel roads and gated paths signify its place now— a space set aside from the others. Tucked between fields of winter wheat, preserved and protected from change.
Purple Coneflower and Blazingstar, Liatris sp.
From across this wide sky, where clouds are stacked upon the horizon waiting for the full light of day, an eagle crosses before me. And takes his place in the dead tree on this prairie which now is his home. If we could do things differently, would we-- redefine the American dream?
Winning image for the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp competition!
The 2012 OWLStamp will be available for sale March 1, 2012 through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website and nature organizations across the state. Proceeds of the OWLStamp benefit wildlife conservation, research & education projects within the state of Ohio! I'm thrilled to have provided the winning image for such a wonderful program!
The Adventures of Red Canoe
Come along in Red Canoe as she explores the quiet backwater of Ohio's State Parks and the scenic streams and rivers of the Midwest. Discover the beauty hidden beyond the water's edge, quietly waiting, past access points, often only inches deep!
Grabbing every minute I can find to be outside--walking in it, sleeping in it ... breathing it in. The natural world has so much beauty to uncover.
It is my hope that by capturing my experiences with nature and by sharing the richness it adds to an ordinary life, others may discover the greatest gift waiting just outside their door.
A regularly appearing feature, "Have you seen..." takes a closer, more patient look at things usually not seen in a flattering light.Take a look!
The Sweetness of Spring
Each spring, as winter lessens its grip and days warm with the first fragrant breezes of a new season, we collect sap from our Sugar Maples and produce just enough syrup for ourselves for the coming year. The progress of this year's backyard endeavor is illustrated here.
A Bird's Life
Summer 2008, the tiny jewel of the avian world, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, nested just feet from my front door. Pictures of her nest and the changing lives within are collected in thisjournal.From life the size of a pea....