Ninty-nine would have been Shirley’s age on Friday (May 24th). And family, old friends and nature nerds were at the Thomsen Foundation on Saturday to celebrate Shirley on the annual Shirley Lusk Day walk.

Pointing the way!
The weather was perfect with an overcast sky and a slight breeze. We were quickly out enjoying the prairie!

Everyone stopped to look!
A Question Mark paused on the Rough-leaf Dogwood!
On the little wooden bridge I showed the group the lichens on the rocks and the metal. Shining a small UV light, some of the lichen species glowed!

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) was hosting a Geometer caterpillar!

Standing Cypress (Ipomopsis rubra)!
An Eastern Carpenter Bee on Horsemint was loaded with pollen!
American Basket-flower (Plectocephalus americanus) stood tall among the others!

Liz getting her shot!
This one always fools me each season. Yes, I thought it was a bumble bee. However Claire quickly noticed it was the bumblebee mimic, the Bee-like Robber Fly (Laphria affinis)! Unlike a bumble bee the eyes are separated and the antenna is different. Additionally for this species the front yellow legs are diagnostic according to BugGuide.
Lots of visiting!

To top off the day, ice cream in the fine Shirley tradition!

Thank you so much to the Thomsen Foundation, Lisa, Lyle, and Logan for another celebration of Shirley! Indeed Shirley was such an inspiration to all of us. It was an honor to have known her and what a fitting place to celebrate her legacy!

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. Shirley was so very special – a one of a kind treasure! S nice to be able to remember her and celebrate her at Thomsen.

  2. It was a wonderful day and a great way to celebrate Shirley. The Thomsen Foundation was beautiful. Thank you, Mary, for
    organizing our field trip and thank you, Lisa, for all you do at the Thomsen Foundation.

  3. Like Kathy I was there with you in spirit. I’m glad you had such a perfect day in Shirley’s honor!

  4. Trying to get out of town and had to get some plants in the ground first. But I, too, was with you in spirit and thinking of Shirley. In fact, I told a Shirley story to someone yesterday!

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