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John P. has a PATREON. / King-Cat 81 is OUT.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Stateline Restoration Prairie - Beloit, Wis.

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On Saturday Stephanie and I went out to the Beloit Farmer's Market, where we bought a lovely felt stitching of a crow (magpie???) named Hector from this lady:

On the way to the Post Office I nerded out over these Milkweed plants behind the shops on State Street.

Plus: Hollyhocks.

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides)

Anyhow, summer's finally here, and I've been spending some time out in the Stateline Restoration Prairie, just across the border in Beloit, Wisconsin.  After the Farmer's Market, Stephanie and I went out and did a quick weed and wildflower inventory, and here are the results:

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Unknown Thistle.  My goal this summer is to learn to ID the myriad varieties of thistle.

[Musk Thistle (Bud) -- (Carduus nutans)]


[Musk Thistle]

White Sweet Clover that's taller than I am!
(Melilotus alba)

To the east of the prairie is an abandoned old bridge crossing Turtle Creek, that connects Illinois and Wisconsin.

Here I am walking to Illinois.

Home at last!

Spider web over Turtle Creek.

Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida)

Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Unknown fern-like device.

[Illinois Bundleflower -- (Desmanthus illinoensis)]

Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida)

Butterfly Milkweed (w/ buds)

Don't know.

[Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)]

White Campion (Silene latifolia)


[Purple Prairie Clover]

I already told you, I don't know!

[Musk Thistle]

More White Campion.

White Prairie Clover (Dalea candida)

Somebody help me out here.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Narrowleaf Plaintain (Plantago lanceolata)

Beloit alleyway.

(All photos by Stephanie Dorman)


  1. Hey John, That "unknown fern-like device" looks a lot like what we call a "Mimosa tree" here in the Carolinas.

  2. I believe the bluish purple one that you are hmmm-ing over is Purple Prairie Clover, without any blooms.

  3. Thanks everyone!

    Blake: Yes, it does look like Mimosa (I remember those from my sojourn in Florida) -- turns out it's actually a relative of the Mimosa called the Illinois Bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis).

    Birds: I'll check back on those when they flower and post an update! Thanks!

  4. UPDATE: Imagine my excitement to discover that the prairie actually runs across state lines, so the goldfinch, for instance, was in Illinois. Also, that bridge is completely south of the border.

  5. Did you also know that Yarrow (Yarroway) was used in Britain as a divining plant, placed under the pillow by young ladies who wished to dream of their future lovers? It was also sometimes inserted into the nostrils, accompanied by the rhyme:

    Yarroway, Yarroway, bear a white blow
    If my love loves me, my nose will bleed now.
    If my love does not love me, it won't bleed a drop,
    If my love loves me, 'twill bleed every drop.

    Sounds a trifle uncomfortable.

    Also, your Goldfinches look very different from ours.

    'Fun' factoids for British folklore!

  6. Birds: You're right, it's Purple Prairie Clover, and it's beautiful in bloom. I'll post pictures soon-- the July Inventory is underway...

    Simon: Thanks! Wow. Nice Goldfinch! That Yarrow rhyme sounds like a lotta fun.

  7. Hi John,

    I'm a reporter with the Beloit Daily News, and I'm looking to write a story on the Stateline Restoration Prairie. Your blog was the first result when I googled the term.

    Just wondering if you'd be willing to tell me a bit about how you enjoyed the prairie and its flowers.

    If you're willing to answer a few questions, please give me a call at 608-364-9231.


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