We returned to the spot where we thinned trees earlier this past year, focusing on brush, mostly honeysuckle, this time. Nearly a week of warm, dry days left ground conditions iffy, so we followed guidance to use extreme caution and to fully extinguish the fires at day's end. (Normally we're allowed to leave hot embers, as long as we have high confidence they're contained.)
We were joined on this morning by at least two first-time Palos volunteers, Eduardo and Big Will, and very much appreciate their help as well as the efforts of all the other volunteers. With one brushcutter, one chainsaw, and a large contingent of energetic volunteers, we were off to a good start when I had to depart for my second stop of the day, below.
Nature Walk With Palos Park Library, Paddock Woods, Saturday April 15
This was a treat! That warm weather, noted above, gave us a terrific array of spring wildflowers, more species than I'd normally expect to see at one time. It felt like the movie title "Everything Everywhere All at Once."
To wit; spring beauties, cutleaf toothwort, Dutchman's breeches, trout lily, a lonely violet or two, blue cohosh, swamp buttercups, and bloodroot. Large-flowered bellwort was beginning to unfurl its leaves with a few bashful flowers emerging. The many trillium we saw had not yet flowered, though the following day we saw one at Black Partridge which had.
My thanks to Jessica Rock of Palos Park Public Library for organizing these walks, to Kathy Branigan for bringing her Master Naturalist expertise, and to all the walkers for their participation. Looking forward to the next one at McClaughrey Springs on Saturday, May 20th at 11 a.m.
Black Partridge Woods Sunday April 16
This day was another pleasant surprise. Rain was forecast throughout the morning, which held our numbers down - though it didn't stop first-time Palos volunteer Brian - and nixed any plans to cut, burn, or herbicide. Instead John Marlin took our small group on a garlic mustard hunt, first along the creek and later in the upland.
The delightful part was the flowers, tiny beads of water glistening on their petals, vibrant despite the gray skies. Truly beautiful, and a reminder to always take a camera when you go out in the rain.