Last weekend the alarmists among us (TV meteorologists primarily) warned of the blistering heat coming our way. One FB friend heard talk of 'melting pavement' which IS more than a tad scary. So how did all that turn out?
Well, it got quite hot. Not as hot as predicted; they seem to focus on the worst-case scenario, but plenty hot, and far too humid, for a few days. We canceled our Saturday workday at Cap Sauers, a good call, in my view, as Saturday morning didn't have the cloud cover that made Friday somewhat tolerable (see below).
Friday I joined a few friends at Ted Stone Woods for a morning pulling mugwort on the prairie (the toughest thing about summer restoration is that many of our target plants are found in full sun, hence no shelter for the volunteers). Butterflies, bees, and dragonflies abounded and seemed untroubled by the heat. Can't say the same for us; by 10:30, when morning's cloud cover disappeared, we were ready to call it a day.
We retreated to the shade for refreshments - beverages, watermelon, and pie, and entertainment - a baby red-headed woodpecker practicing flight under the watchful eyes of its parents. Cool stuff.
Black Partridge Woods Sunday July 21
Heat wasn't the story on Sunday. Rain was. In my area it started after noon, light and sporadic. We began work at Black Partridge at 1 p.m. when the radar suggested the rain would end within the hour. It didn't, and at 2:30 or so saturated, we gave it up. We managed, in that time, to collect a lot of teasel and thistle heads and didn't have to worry about the ripe seeds scattering given the wet conditions. And if that's not trying to find the silver lining I'm not sure what is....
Monday Julie and I had to trek to Lyons and on the way home we stopped at Chicago Portage. Another great place,, significant for what happened here long before settlement.
It is, as Friends of the Chicago Portage says, "the only place where you can stand on the same ground walked upon by all the explorers, early settlers and creators of Chicago". Tours are offered the first Saturday of each month through November 2. Check this link for details and contact information drupal.library.cmu.edu/chicago/tours