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Thanksgiving 2016

This was the 2014 Thanksgiving essay.  I have more to add this year: Kane County Forest Preserve of Illinois invited Kent Nerburn, author of several books about American Indians, to speak at a program earlier in November.   Several people from Northern Kane County Wild Ones and/or Ruthless Readers, our Environmental Book Club, attended. Three […]

Farewell, Indian Summer

Farewell Indian Summer   SONGWRITERS WILLIAMS, HARRY/HICKMAN, A Does anyone remember that song? Here’s the rendition by Glenn Miller; there is also one by Frank Sinatra. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa_faILW6MQ Obviously dating me. In this song, Indian Summer was a metaphor for a romance that had begun in June and had faded by Indian Summer. What really is […]

Save Our Savannas

Which is worse? This?  Buckthorn-choked savanna? Or this? A lawn grown under the oak trees, mowed, fertilized, and watered on a regular basis. Well, this one certainly looks better, carefully kept, all neat and tidy. I hope you already know the answer.  Actually, they are both terrible.  Both sites guarantee the demise of our oak […]

Fiery Fall Foliage

Fiery Fall Foliage First Week in November The Chicago area landscape was formed by ice.  As the Wisconsin glacier receded about 13,000 years ago, it deposited glacial till it had collected when it moved forward—boulders, stones, gravel, sand, and clay particles—and built overlapping moraines.  The material dropped out unevenly thereby creating rolling hills, ridges, and […]

Yearly Essay on Buckthorn

Yearly Essay on Buckthorn  …on the fertile Corn Belt soils, all our oaks are headed for oblivion, except where ecological restoration or other intentional management protects them .Stephen Packard “Interseeding” The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook Edited by Stephen Packard  and Cornelia F. Mutel   Which situation is worse?  Top or bottom photo? Actually, they are both […]

The Big Show Has Ended, but Some Color Lingers On

The big show has almost ended, but some colorful leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers linger  on. Part 1 Herbaceous plants and grasses. The clusters of lavender-blue daisy flowers of Smooth Blue Aster (Aster laevis) are still in bloom.  It grows 2-4′ tall, blooming from September through early November. The Heath Aster (Aster ericoides), so-called because its […]

Should Leaf Blowers Be Banned?

Should Leaf Blowers be Banned?  For those of us who enjoy a walk around the neighborhood on a lovely fall weekend,  noisy leaf blowers with a multi-decibel whine can destroy tranquility, conversation, and ones hearing.   Birdsong,  rustling leaves,  and laughter are drowned out.  And noise isn’t the only pollution the leaf blower produces.  It also […]

Mid-November Notable Native Trees and Shrubs

November’s sky is chill and drear, November’s leaf is red and sear. Sir Walter Scott     Mid-November Notable Native Trees and Shrubs The November landscape has a sepia coloring, reminiscent of the rotogravure section of the old Chicago Tribune. The leaves of the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) fell in October, but those of the […]

Clearing Invasives from Savannas and Woodlands

Mid-November

November always seemed to me the Norway of the year. Emily Dickenson We’re back to Standard Time and the sky begins to darken by 4:00 pm. The leaves are almost all down or else have turned crisp and brown. We were blessed ;ast week with a warm Indian Summer, but that has left us. But […]