We worked at the far south end of Cranberry, in a corner bounded by Old Country Lane and 107th Street. Our main target was Canada thistle, growing in a sector cleared of brush by contractors less than two years ago. Thanks to first-time Palos volunteer Olga, to Darien and Julia, and to the rest of the stalwarts who showed up on a damp day in the midst of mosquito season.
Judicious application of repellent kept the skeeters at bay, and we loaded numerous trash bags with thistle flowers and seed. Joe, Diana, and Carolyn carried backpack sprayers and herbicided behind us as we wiped out the bulk of the biggest thistle patch.
The prairie at McMahon is quite beautiful. with a variety of native flowers in bloom right now. We saw two kinds of coneflowers, two of the Siphium genus (rosinweed and compass plant, with prairie dock present but not bolted yet), Monarda, black-eyed Susans, and much, much more. It's great evidence what can happen with removal of invasive species and careful management.