Calumet Photo of the Month August 2011

Using my Common Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Chicago Region guide, I was excited to be able to identify the scientific name of this Familiar Bluet damselfly: Enallagma civile. This brilliant blue damselfly was "helicoptering" around some wetland plants and was one of many discoveries made at ECCo's recent plant ID class at Beaubien Woods Forest Preserve on August 6th.

Just a few weeks before, a massive storm front moved in while we were exploring the prairie at Beaubien. I shot this photo of the native perennial plant Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium, moments before the sky opened up with much-needed rain. With its unique and action-oriented sounding name, it is my favorite name for a native tallgrass prairie species. Rattlesnake Master's foliage resembles that of a desert plant, and it was once thought that the root was an antidote to a rattlesnake bite. Although this belief has been proven untrue, the name lives on.

Photos: Laura Milkert