Still Learning To See

Meadow magic

Meadows are some of the loveliest places in the world! These are complex ecosystems that typically brim with life. I recently had a chance to visit a spot in Michigan where one of my sisters and her husband are reclaiming land that has been used as a gravel pit. Prior to that it had been a farm field for many years, where monocultures of corn or wheat were typically raised.

They’ve established a small pond and graded the land around it to reduce erosion and then have seeded or planted literally thousands of trees and plants. Many animal species have, as a result, been attracted. The transformation is not complete but it certainly is beginning to look like a vital meadow ecosystem. Watching a pair of Kestrels hunt, for instance, was one more certain indication of that fact.

Here are just a few photographs from a walk we took one afternoon. I look forward to returning frequently and seeing the changes that inevitably come with such progressions and seeing and studying more of the interconnected relationships of life as they develop. There is no comparison to what it had been—or to suburban lawns—as a place that truly sustains the complex fabric of life of which we are a part.

This entry was published on August 20, 2014 at 8:50 am. It’s filed under Flowers, John Snell, Photograph, Summer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Meadow magic

  1. John, love the chicory and Queen Anne’s lace–they were always the harbingers of autumn when I was growing up in Ohio, arriving in August to let us know we needed to enjoy the rest of summer 🙂 Now, they’re blooming much earlier–and earlier blooming in plants is viewed as a sign of climate change.

    I’ve always loved Thoreau, as you know, but now he’s becoming recognized for his excellent work as a naturalist. “Looking at 43 common Concord plant species, they found “unambiguously” that these plants, on average, “are now flowering 10 days earlier than they were in Thoreau’s time”,

    How wonderful that your sister and her husband have reclaimed this land for beauty!

  2. wonderful, beautiful gallery

  3. Karen Dailey on said:

    Can’t let this one go by: gotta give Dale 99% of the credit for this amazing transformation. We both are enjoying it tremendously: watching a great blue heron for a whole week; seeing various other water fowl migrating through, or even lingering a while; listening to the frogs; watching the clouds and sunsets/sunrises; taking leisurely walks; bringing in bouquets. It’s transforming to the person as well as the landscape! Thanks, bro! I love you (and this, your marvelous blog!) hugs, your sis

  4. Gorgeous photos 🙂

  5. Margaret Pifer on said:

    My brain worked over the name of the plant your brain couldn’t recall – twice it came to me – twice it disappeared. In the night, however, the name returned and I threw back the sheet, went to my desk and wrote down “plantain”. Then I looked up a definition of that word in the Webster’s and I think the right name had come to me. By now you’ve thought of it too! Cheers! Margaret Pifer

  6. Oh Marg! You are the most loyal of readers. That this should wake you up in the night is an honor beyond all I could imagine. Now, may you also have wonderful dreams of Chicory blue as you nap today. Hugs, John

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