We returned once again to McMahon prairie and its infestation of white sweet clover. Rain the previous day was our good friend, softening the ground enough that we could uproot many of the plants. Clippers were only occasionally necessary for the bigger stems. We were joined by first-time Palos volunteer Billy and appreciate his help.
The prairie was a delight, teeming with monarda, purple and gray-headed coneflowers, and an assortment of other native blooms. We even spotted an occasional Ohio spiderwort, still popping flowers two months after their first appearance.
Pollinators were feasting throughout the morning. At times one could see multiple species of bees alighting on a single cluster of monarda, with butterflies not far behind. Truly inspiring, all the reason we need to come out and remove invasive plants!
Chainsaw Bob from Salt Creek/Sundown cut a few trees near the parking lot, and at day's end one got hung up, leading to the creation of his new alter-ego, Polesaw Bob. See picture below.
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center Sunday July 30
With nothing scheduled at any of our PRP sites I made my way to Sagawau, where I was able to - guess what - pull more white sweet clover. It was not as thick here as at McMahon, testament to repeated efforts by volunteers and staff in recent weeks. The Sagawau prairie has its own mix of natives flowering, including some decent-looking, though stunted, prairie blazing star. At least these had relatively full spikes of flowers. See them below.
In my weekly email I included this link to a story about early prairie restoration in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.