The art was creative and diverse in both medium and message. Similarly, diversity was the public attendees of this event. This was a perfect photo opportunity. These images focus on the many dogs taking in the scenes. I can’t help but wonder their thoughts.
First glance of this white patch of springtime, from my bicycle, looks like a uniform cluster of Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia), named by the famed Carl Linnaeus in 1753. Natural diversity is one of the amazing characteristics of a wild, mostly-undisturbed area. Chicago’s Cook Country Forest Preserve is as close as I can get in this urban area to native wildlife.
As I get closer to the Anemone, I realize that other spring blooms are present in this “mostly” Anemone patch of forest floor. Note the Trout Lily leaves in the right and lower portions of the overall image. The fence in the background separates a public golf course from the bike trail. The shrub is probably the invasive Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and its presence reinforces that this is an urban, partly disturbed forest.
This small patch of woodland floor hosts a multitude of plant species; some will become visible in several months. This time my eyes stay focused on the natives.
Two very different habitats though inches away in location. In the first image, the forest floor still has some un-melted snow while the top side of a decaying log resting on the same floor hosts a warmer habitat’s greening moss. The second image shows more green moss atop two logs resting in a typical vernal pool. Vernal pools are temporary springtime micro-habitats created when the still frozen ground has not yet absorbed the melted snows of winter.