Sand Prairie Scrub Oak
Leon and I had planned to take Friday off for a long weekend camping trip in Brown County, Indiana. Unfortunately, Leon had been fighting a cold most of the week. When I got home Thursday evening, he informed me that his cold had settled into his chest as a bacterial infection and that he would need to see the doctor the next day. Thus ended the camping trip.
Saturday was gorgeous. We have been having unseasonably warm weather and spring is at leas a month ahead of schedule this year. Leon was feeling a bit better, so we decided to check out a nature preserve called Sand Prairie Scrub Oak down by Peoria.
The rpeserve was further away than I realized, so we didn't arrive until late afternoon. It sandy oak woods interspersed with sand prairie. The latter contains lots of prickly pear cactus.
Sand phlox was abundant and in full bloom. Most of the flowers were white, with an occasional bright pink individual.
Thicket of American PlumLike everything else, the butterflies are very early this year. I saw seven species on Saturday, including a beautiful, fresh tiger swallowtail.
The highlight of the day was getting to see a butterfy that in sand prairies. Previously, I had only ever seen Olympia Marbles on the shores of Lake Michigan. On this trip, I would see several in the a beautiful nature preserve in the sand country along the Illinois River.