|White Wild Indigo|
On my morning bicycle ride, I circled Big Woods Lake. The trail took me through the 10 acre Rotary Prairie Reserve. The Wild White Indigo was the most showy plant in bloom. This one stood about 2-1/2 feet tall. Mosquitos (the summer scourge for plein air sketchers in Iowa) haven't arrived, but the gnats have. I found a spot with enough breeze to keep them off me to set up my folding stool.
Iowa, in the middle of the United States, is part of the Great Plains. Before it was tilled and became some of the planet's most fertile cropland, it was prairie. I have lived much of my adult life in the Great Plains and have come to love and appreciate the delicate beauty of the prairie. Only patches of it have been preserved and restored. This prairie is a joint project with the Rotary Club, The University of Northern Iowa, and the Black Hawk County Conservation Board.
I love this plot of land. It gives me a sense of peace and calm each time I come. Watercolor and ink on 140lb hot press. May 22, 2012. Cedar Falls, Iowa.