Photos from a recent prescribed burn at Riveredge Nature Center

To quote the Riveredge Instagram post I wrote…

Prescribed burning is a time tested practice for prairie and savanna rejuvenation that existed in the Americas centuries before European settlement. We embrace this practice across appropriate Riveredge habitats.

Prescribed burning spurs prairie seeds to sprout, consumes encroaching invasive species, and expends potential wildfire fuel in a safely controlled situation.

Thanks to our wonderful burn #volunteers for helping keep everyone (and everything) safe!

A perhaps unorthodox building portrait.
Lines of fire are strategically placed with a drip torch to collide and extinguish together.
Riveredge School students were able to learn and observe from a safe distance.
This shot is probably my favorite, the combination of high-leaping flames and indecisive sunrise.
For all the technology in the world, the best burn tools are still a flat piece of rubber to suffocate any flare-ups and a backpack full of water with a hose.
I was even able to participate in a burn later in the day (photo by my colleague Matt Smith). I should probably clarify…the fire is moving slowly, for this picture moment, I’m in a safer landscape than this may appear.

Golden Hour Sun Slips Down While Climbing the Trees

During an event at Riveredge I was taking pictures at one of our satellite locations to promote future installments. I walked back to the main building to pick up some sort of forgotten tool for the program and for all of about 10 minutes the light was still coming through the trees but had already darkened across the land. As the sun went retreated, the remaining light gradually crawled up the forest.

Delighting in the Fleet of Prairie Grasshoppers

Seeing the Warblers of Spring Bird Migration

Got out to take some pictures on the trails at Riveredge yesterday morning. Here is a Palm Warbler that stayed still for just long enough.

And here are some of the folks out social distance birding…

Something about this bench was so inviting. Maybe it was the surrounding sun. 😉

Sunset on the Prairie at Riveredge

I went out at work to take a few sunset pictures the other afternoon. Something everyone takes pictures of can be a challenge to shoot in a unique way.

It wasn’t a particularly stunning sunset (no clouds) and I wanted to reinforce the idea of being outdoors, hence the emphasis on footsteps, not just reinforce scrolling through pretty pictures from one’s phone.

I go back and forth with imagery of nature. Does it motivate people to get outside, or might it satisfy that desire from a standpoint of spectating? A visual candy, lacking experiential sustenance.

Pretty pictures are nice, sure, but I’ll trade all the pretty pictures in the world for going outside and experiencing it myself. I’ll continue venturing outside and will continue to take pictures often when I do. 😘

Community Gardens: A Poem About Plants in Nature

I was at work the other day, asking about planting strategies with a very experienced land management specialist. He mentioned something, almost as an afterthought, about how forbs need root competition to flourish long-term. Otherwise they grow too large and collapse on themselves. I found this interesting and ended up writing a poem about it. We published it on our Blog at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. It’s pretty fantastic that I’ve got a job where I’m invited to write poetry about nature.

Go here to read Community Gardens, a poem about how plants depend on one another.

2017 Gala Design at Schlitz Audubon

Within one brief brainstorming meeting we came up with the theme, name, and basic layout for the invitation for our Annual Gala at Schlitz Audubon. Below is the invitation, completed within a few days after selecting props. I love working with a nimble in-house creative team, how we can come up with ideas that excite us and have the resources and trust from our colleagues to make what we imagine live within hours or days.