In imagining the historic landscape, I find it interesting that this and other black soil prairie remnants are visually dominated by herbaceous plants (and here also by a woody plant, New Jersey tea) rather than by the tall grasses often associated with visions of the pre-European settlement prairie. Looking southward from the Prospect Cemetery Nature Preserve across a vast open space of corn fields, it’s almost possible to imagine this five-acre remnant stretching to the horizon. Many thanks to the Grand Prairie Friends who have maintained this precious site for decades, and happily, now own it as well.
This late June view features the blooms of butterfly weed, New Jersey tea, wild quinine, lead plant, and black-eyed Susan. Prairie dock, rattlesnake master, and mountain mint are also represented, although not in bloom.
The Long View: Prairie Paintings from Illinois Nature Preserves
June 9 - October 21, 2023
Illinois State Museum - Lockport Gallery
201 West 10th Street, Lockport, Illinois