Fall-Winter 2008

Welcome to the Fall-Winter 2008 edition

We rode thus through a perfect wilderness of sweets, sending forth perfume, and animated with myriads of glittering birds and butterflies.

-- pioneer Eliza Steele, 1841

A flock of noisy, migrating sandhill cranes are flying overhead as I write this and so it seems fitting that we welcome Don Blecha and his beautiful photographs of birds at Goose Lake Prairie, one of the special places in Illinois. This fall is portentous for other reasons, not the least of which is a new and inspiring U.S. President, but it is also the fifth issue of A Prairie Journal. We are happy to be here, offering insights to our vanishing North American prairie. We’re joined by several other new contributors, including Deb Seles, an Episcopal priest and improvisational actor; Rachel Kellum, who brings us a prairie perspective from the Rocky Mountain Front; Jack Shouba, an instructor at the Morton Arboretum and stickler for Latin botanical names; award-winning photographer Angela Just; and my friends and fellow journal editors Vernon Miller and Jennifer Hollmeyer. The above, historic quote is from the book “Of Prairie Woods, & Water: Two Centuries of Chicago Nature Writing,” edited by Joel Greenberg, University of Chicago Press.

-- LeAnn Spencer, editor and publisher