cassvilleThis past weekend, we were camping at Nelson Dewey State Park in Cassville, Wisconsin.  It is a beautiful, but buggy, spot along the Mississippi River.  Sweeping views of the valley, freight trains passing in the night, and a pair of Trumpeter swans nesting made the trip for me!cassville1One of the many benefits of being out in nature is seeing how plants interact with each other.  Observing what plants thrive in meadows or woodlands, watching what insects and butterflies are attracted to them, and observing how nature exists is important for an avid gardener to give pause to.  There is no better teacher.  In my experience, your senses remember best when you are out in it rather than when you may be researching about it.cassville2

Grey headed coneflowers, Joe Pye weed, Queen Anne’s lace, Jerusalem artichoke, sunflowers, and golden rod were putting on a grand show this past weekend.  The scene was very yellow with accents of purple and white.  I, too, have a palette of yellow in my garden with Black eyed Susans and sunflowers.  As the sunflowers fade and get broken by hungry birds and squirrels, I look forward to asters and fall anemone that peak in Autumn.  montrose beach

The more we understand the cycles of nature, the richer the world feels.  I hope you have some time this late summer to enjoy the great outdoors.  In Chicago, the lake front between Montrose and Irving Park, is close by and can give you a great glimpse of Illinois’ nature.

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