I know that at the moment everybody is posting the pictures of fall foliage. And I am not going to be an exception. Everybody has their own “the most amazing fall colors,” and here are mine – from Deer Grove Forest Preserve, the oldest forest preserve in Cook county.
I do not know who saw my Instagram post about the wildflowers (a copy of this one), or maybe my fellow forest preserve volunteers spread the word and reached out, but today, I spotted a Forest Preserve Police car :).
We spent Saturday morning collecting the seeds, .which are in abundance, and enjoying the end-of-summer prairie. There are still lots of flowers, blooming!
I saw sandhill cranes in the forest preserve, when I was biking this morning, so close, that I nearly ran into them on my bike. The didn’t walk away from me, and I was staring at them, and taking more and more pictures lighted by the rising sun – how beautiful they were in these morning hours!
This weekend, I spent a lot of time in Deer Grove Forest Preserve.On Saturday morning, I went out for a workday with Friends of Deer Grove. We were cutting the heads of reed canary grass, which is an invasive plant.
On Sunday, I took mom for a walk, and since it was not as hot as for the previous two weeks, she was able to walk for the longer time. I was looking for the black raspberry, hoping that I could pick some, but it is still just starting to ripe, so I need to wait for at least another week. When me and mom stepped a little bit away from the path to see the water lilies closer, we saw a deer! I come across them almost every time I bike in the morning, but it is unusual to see one at the bright daylight. And Mom saw a deer in the wild for the first time!
I love summer in Illinois. I am not talking about just summer in Chicago, filled with all these amazing events and activities: music festivals, parades, markets, Crown Fountain, icecream at the River Walk, and the fireworks on the Navy Pier. Chicago summer is fantastic, but I also love Illinois summer away from the city.
I love that it is hot. Yes, I know that many people hate the Midwest summer for being hot and humid. But I love it. Maybe, that’s because, since my early childhood, hot weather was a luxury. Something we didn’t get at home. You had to travel to The South. The South was almost as appealing as “zagranitza” (see related post).
In any case, I love it when the outside temperature is in the lower 80’s. My picture of the perfect summer is the following. It’s warm enough that I can wear shorts and a sleeveless top. I am on my deck, or rather on the wooden steps of my deck, I am barefoot, and my soles feel the warmth of the wood. The mourning doves are mourning; I hear their uuu! uuu! The sun is not setting down yet, but it starts to go down, My back is feeling the door of my kitchen. It’s never extremely hot on my deck because the sun never touches it directly. And it’s that moment when I sit there and do nothing. No audiobook in my ears. No looking at my phone. Nothing, but the sun which starts to descent, and the mourning of the doves …
Every year, the first day I can sit like this marks the arrival of summer. This year, it was so cold for so long that I could not even believe that this day will come, even a week ago.
And now, for the fourth day in a row, we have a perfect summer. Each day of the long weekend was a gift!
Here are some pictures of want I was doing on Sunday.
One of the many things which are not normal these days is the fact that we can’t come to the stores with our reusable bags. “Until further notice,” as most of the stores as saying.
I washed all my reusable shopping bags and all my reusable mesh grocery bags and folded them on one of the shelves in the laundry room. I hope I will be able to use them again at some point. But each time I am placing a pile of plastic bags into the garbage, my heart wrenches.
Last week, I finally watched the documentary Plastic Wars, which was on my list for a while. It is horrifying to see all the damage that plastic does for the environment. It’s devastating to learn that even when you think you are recycling, you are often not. That makes you to disgust plastic packaging even more. And yet – that’s what we have to do these days…
I still highly recommend the movie – watch it here.