Monday, July 15, 2013


This past Saturday I was at Montrose Point doing dune stewardship with friends. As usual, I was combing the dunes for cottonwood saplings and trying to get them out, roots and all.

Cottonwood sapling

When I first heard about the "cottonwood pulling" task, I thought, "Hah! That'll never be me!"

Fast forward a few years, and I consider it a sacred responsibility to get out there and get those little buggers out of there . . . .

Montrose Dunes in Chicago

Whenever, I'm working on clearing cottonwoods, I think of the time Alanna was doing a summer project learning about trees. I made a special point of sending her a delicate little sapling with one of those impossibly long roots, together with a carefully-drawn explanation of how they serve to anchor the dune and create an environment in which a ridge can build up and more and more plants can take hold.

Dune formation

Hmmm . . . that reminds me . . . I need to be on the lookout for some more interesting stuff to send Alanna. :-)

More wildflowers . . . .

Related posts

Chicago has a tremendous head start in being a place that is inspired by the beauty all around us to do the difficult things that are needed. And Chicago is so beautiful all summer long, there's no reason to leave the city. Think of all the carbon emissions save on car and jet travel!

(See "One Word: Wildflowers" on Zero Carbon Chicago)

Any day that starts with morning glories on Point Alanna is a good day!

(See Morning Glories on Point Alanna )

Wouldn't it be great if people came from places far and wide to learn about our Lake Michigan biomes in a jewel-like park right in downtown Chicago?

(See A Modest Proposal for Northerly Island: Illinois Microzones )