Nov 15, 2021 8:00 am1583 views
Early November may not be an optimal time to visit a tallgrass prairie in central Illinois. But if you know what to look for, as my two guides do, it’s as good a time as any.
Despite recent heavy rains, the prairie looks as dry as a skull. Grass and flower stalks rattle in the cold breeze, and each plant appears to sport its own special array of desiccated seeds, leaves and flower heads. The ground is still damp but the tops of the plants are crispy.
I’m here with Fred Delcomyn and James Ellis, the authors of “A Backyard Prairie,” a book about Fred and Nancy Delcomyn’s personal project, a 3-acre swath of prairie that they began installing near their home in 2003 and have nurtured ever since.