name that native

I love the linear quality of vines and they stand out among the upright stalks of so many prairie plants. I may have to wait for summer blooms to identify this one, though. Unless you know. If so, please let me know in the comments. Guesses welcome.

blog020715_prairie vine37/365: dry prairie vine

native: liatris

It took a closer look to see the tiny individual dried flowers on this liatris stalk. And a photograph to make me see its fruit: tiny seeds adorned with hairy parachute tufts to carry them off on the wind.

blog012515_liatris stalk24/365: liatris fruit & flower

winter gold

At a glance, winter is a dreary scene. Monochromatic. Bleak.

In reality, every season has a palette. Winter is rich with subtlety. Infinite gradations of brown, gray and white. And then, the shock of orange. Red. Gold. Colors that speak of sunlight. Heat. Blood. And honey.

blog01_winter-prairie-in-gold14/365: winter prairie in gold

native: milkweed*

I love to study what remains – the architecture – the form & frame of the skeleton when the luscious flesh of leaves and blush of petals is removed. It is a stark, and altogether different kind of beauty.


3/365: milkweed

(*native: possibly the first in a new series of native plant portraits. )

08.26.13 prairie on fire !

I mentioned  that we made a trip to Morris, MN the other day. Today I’m excited to share the reason for our trip!

The University of Minnesota – Morris purchased these five pictures for the new, sustainable Green Prairie Living & Learning Community building on campus. That means the prints are also part of the University’s permanent collection!

These pictures are part of the ‘Winter Prairie’ series I worked on in 2013 featuring images from the urban prairie restoration garden near my home. I’m pleased that these wild prairie darlings are now permanently situated in their natural environment: a true prairie ecosystem in western Minnesota.

u-of-m-morris-blog-post238/365: Winter Prairie Series Prints now in the University of Minnesota – Morris Collection

06.07.13 prairie rising

Each time I visit the prairie garden, something new is in bloom. On this day, the wild indigo was just beginning to open. Like fingertips to the sky, the emergent blooms remind me of a good, whole-body stretch, reaching, reaching. There is a sense of potential, of surging wild and pulsing indigo on the rise.

blog060713_wild indigo158/365: wild indigo

05.14.13 by any other name

One of the things I like to do is look up common names of flowers. The early spring prairie blooms I’ve always called pasque flowers have many more poetic and evocative names: wind flower, prairie crocus, meadow anemone. What’s in a name? Maybe. But I think I’ll call these beauties wind flowers from now on.

blog_pasque flowers134/365: pasque flowers