Winding Down

by Carl Strang

Autumn progresses. Wandering the landscape, we notice signs large and small of preparations for the dry, cold winter season. Most obvious are the plants, of course. At Mayslake Forest Preserve, scattered prairie dropseed clumps have become yellow fountains.

This grass is well established in a couple of the wetter prairie areas.

The river bulrushes that filled the marsh basin when it lost its water at last are senescing.

Without the bulrushes’ active transpiration, the marsh can begin to refill.

The soundscape shifts as well, insect songs becoming fewer as the calls of sparrows and finches increasingly fill the airwaves. Can the first snowfall be far behind?

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