Due to its flatness and the robust prairie grasses that can obscure the view, it’s hard to appreciate the scale and configuration of Goose Lake Prairie, an Illinois Nature Preserve located below the confluence of the Des Plaines and Kankakee Rivers. Established in 1969, it is the largest tallgrass prairie remnant in Illinois. However, from the observation deck at the visitor’s center (a luxury of elevation the early settlers didn’t have), I could better appreciate the mosaic of wet to mesic prairie communities that hold more than 400 species in these 1,500-plus acres.
Painted on location. Canvas mounted to hardboard.
May 1 - September 12, 2021
Chicago Botanic Garden
Published in conjunction with Philip’s 2021 exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Contributors include: Philip Juras, artist and author; Hank Paulson, foreword; and Stephen Packard, essay. Published by Little Bluestem Press, Athens, GA, 2021.