This is June in Illinois: sunshine, clover blossoms, song. It is the time when the new strength which comes to the sunshine begins to bake the soil between rows of growing corn, when soft dust powders up in the road, and the river's level nightly falls. It is the time when pink wild roses blossom fleetingly along the railroad tracks; when the morning knows a stream of blue spiderwort in bloom beside the road. June is the renewed sound of insects in the grass, in the air, in the sunshine, in the night-a humming, churring, buzzing, zinging, clicking, that swells to a crescendo as the warmth increases.
Fragaria virginiana Duch.
May Roadsides, hills.
And now June is strawberries. Now the scent of ripe wild prairie strawberries fills the warm air of the sunny roadside. Here are wild strawberries, clover, wheat: they are part of one picture, June. The berries are small, sweet, ruby fruits in clusters on long stems; you pick a stem-full and till your hand with berries. And a meadow lark on a fence-post turns his golden bosom with the bright black V to the sun and sings and sings and sings.
The wild strawberries are one of the choice wild fruits of Illinois. There is nothing quite like them, either in aroma or in flavor, and these prairie fruits are among the sweetest and most delicious of all berries, either to eat on the spot or to take home to make into preset.
In May, the compact plants sent up flower stalks with the bright white blossoms with their live petals around a stameny center. Quickly. the petals fall and the berries develop and ripen when June once more fulfills its ancient position in the cycle of the year.