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May 15, 2008 (Sharon's Birthday)

Ahh, it's the Uvularia grandiflora, the Large-flowered Bellwort. One of only two Bellworts in Minnesota, and six in North America. It regally embellishes my chosen "Favorite Spot" of the River Gorge Restoration Project. All the steward leaders got to pick a favorite spot to keep our phenological and historic tabs on, as it were, as part of our restoration efforts, this was mine.
And even tho I didn't know him personally, I was drawn to this area known to some as the "Gravemarker of Capt'n Queeg." His epitaph reads, "Here lies Capt'n Queeg: Nothing but Love for Everyone" on three broken boards, just downhill of the huge granite boulder. Add in the Burr Oaks, prairie grasses and wildflowers and there was no question. My reverent place.Here are the stewards in the Gorge's "Prairie Bowl," removing invasives and trying to bring the area back to it's native Oak Savannah environs. Hard to believe just two years ago this place was a Buckthorn forest and barely recognizable as a prairie anything. It's the "only true gorge" along the entire length of the Mississippi River, that is, one carved deeply by a glacier. Nice work Mr. Glacier. The old adage is true, "take your time, do it right."

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