Let’s Hike at the Orland Grasslands

Oh boy! Let’s go for a walk at the Orland Grasslands, part of Chicago’s Cook County Forest Preserves. I wonder what we will find…

This day was overcast, warm and humid. One great thing about an overcast day is that all of the colors seem to pop out. Green grass is greener and wildflowers are brighter.

Right away I spotted this little guy. I think he is a yellow sulfur butterfly (UPDATE: identified by Doug with Gossamer Tapestry, it is a False Crocus Geometer [Xanthotype urticaria]). He was low to the ground, quickly flying from grass blade to grass blade. He only stopped for a second and I quickly took his picture.

Next, I found this gem in the dirt. Isn’t he beautiful? This is the 6 spotted tiger beetle. Can you see all 6 spots? I just love his metallic green color.

The further we walked, the wetter it got, so we didn’t go too far.
I think this picture will make a really neat painting. I love how the landscape tells a story of earlier rains which came through and soaked the ground. Speaking of rain….

The sky is looking a little mean right now! The atmosphere is getting heavy and I think it is time to go. Just 2 hours after I took this photo, an incredible quick thunderstorm rolled in bringing  70 MPH winds and it knocked out my power for a good 24 hours!

Don’t fool with nature!


  1. Hi Chris, great photo of the tiger (I saw it referenced on Osage + Orange. You do not have a sulphur butterfly in your photo. In fact, you don’t have a butterfly at all. The picture is of a moth called the False Crocus Geometer (Xanthotype urticaria.

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