Prairie Summer

July 1999

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cumulus THE WILD FLOWERS here in central Illinois, United States, seem to be flourishing under our heat wave, and its subsequent thunderstorms. A trip down the highways reveals many of the wildflowers. The lavender-colored chicory at times lines the six foot tall, corn fields. This treats the eye to a delightful lavender edging to the green and gold mile-wide fields. I have lived in areas that others consider to be more beautiful that Illinois. Many have difficulty in finding beauty in a land that is 'the pool table of the nation'. When living on the East Coast of the U.S., however, I found that my eyes ached to be able to look over the long stretches of fields, over what used to be our prairies.

wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace) A patch of Queen Anne's Lace, with their long, sturdy, yet delicate looking, stems can cover nearly 900 square feet of ground with ease.

black-eyed susan Black-eyed Susans color the surrounding field grass with spots of unexpected, delightful, yellow-gold. One of my personal favorites, the Cattails, not really a wild flower so much as a grass found in the occasional swampy areas (like along a roadside) is at maturity, also, at this time of the year.

cirrus In regard to Illinois my mother says, 'If you don't like the weather, just stick around 'cause it'll change!' I suppose that we could adapt that to the foliage of Illinois, also. Each season brings it's own delight. The willing eye can see it.

Sharon Crowder

Sketches by Richard Bell

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