Monday, June 05, 2017

(Photos) The flowers and the landscape of Illinois Beach State Park

Last Sunday Mrs. Marathon Pundit had a rare day off together. And we decided to enjoy nature at one of the Land of Lincoln's most-visited outdoor sites, Adeline Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park near Zion, just south of Wisconsin.

Rain and thunderstorms predicted that day--which kept the crowds out. The only evidence of precipitation we encountered was a rain delay during the home Chicago White Sox game we we listening to on the radio.

But it was foggy when we arrived. Next to the fallen tree is the Blogger Laureate of Illinois.

The park is divided into two units--north and south. That's Mrs. Marathon Pundit seemingly walking towards a cliff, but the fog is just playing tricks on our eyes.

There are two units of the park--north and south. As the next day was Memorial Day, it's fitting that we visited, since Camp Logan was on that site until the early 1970s. The camp, an old National Guard training facility, was named for John Alexander Logan, a Civil War general who later served as a US Senator from Illinois. Logan was one of the early proponents for the Memorial Day holiday. There are just three men named in the official state song, "Illinois." Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, the first two presidents from Illinois, are the other two.

There are many wetlands within the park. As for the park's namesake, Adeline Jay Geo-Karis, she was a longtime Republican state legislator from the area and a mayor of Zion. And she--wait for a big surprise because we are talking about Illinois--had a well-deserved reputation for working on both sides of the party aisle.

Illinois can use someone like Geo-Karis now.

Phlox is a common late spring flower--here is the prairie phlox variety.

Butterweed used to be rare in northern Illinois. They are common in Morton Grove, where I live, and I saw some up there.

I saw just one wild rose during our long hikes last Sunday.

Only one other time in my life have I seen an eastern bluebird. But this time I had my camera.

So naturally next I have to show a couple of flower species that are new to me. That's a hoary puccoon.

What is better than one puccoon? Why two of them of course! This one is a fringed puccoon.

Because its common on roadsides the daisy fleabane gets little respect. But its deserves it.

Lily-of-the-valley, a European invader, is a garden escapee. Quite pretty, though.

Savannas are common within the park too. The tall trees are aspens.

Did someone say trees? That's a chokecherry blossom.

Here's another newbie for me--stout blue-eyed grass.

Blue over to blue--above is an Ohio spiderwort.

Bring your own water when visiting. I encountered only one water fountain there. Of course it was inoperable. Illinois is broke and broken.

Even when there is little wind the lance-leaved coreopsis, also know as the sand coreopsis, is always moving. They are very difficult to photograph.

The Dead River isn't really dead--in fact it's teeming with life. It gets its name because when the water levels are low it doesn't flow into Lake Michigan.

Shooting stars are more common in early spring.

The fern-like wood betony is often found groups. Many people, including myself, have confused them with the very similar swamp lousewort.

Like many people of my age I first heard of lupines from the Monty Python sketch "Dennis Moore." A highway man--stand and deliver--and a Robin Hood type character, Jones steals lupines from the rich and gives them to the poor. They're beautiful enough to steal.

These are wild lupines, they are the only lupines native to Illinois and they are somewhat rare here.

Of course near the lake shore sand dunes become more prevalent inside the park.

We began with Lake Michigan and we'll conclude with it.

1 comment:

zeeman said...

Very nice!