Tag Archives | Natural World


Their pervasive fragrance and gaudy color suggests an overdressed matron wearing too much cheap perfume, as these plants often become too much in the landscape.   Dick Young Kane county Wild Plants & Natural Areas     Roadsides Dick Young was referring to Dame’s Rocket (Hesperus matronalis) in bloom now along partially shaded roadsides, railroad […]

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May Apples

Valerie Blaine, Naturalist with the Kane County Forest Preserve, is Guest Writer again today.  This article originally appeared in the Daily Herald, 4/4/2012 That’s not an umbrella, it’s a May-apple By Valerie Blaine If you’ve walked in the woods this week, you might think a beach party is about to begin. There are beach umbrellas […]

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Green Fire

Green Fire We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.  Aldo Leopold Aldo Leopold bench made as part of an Eagle Scout project to place in Christ the Lord […]

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Red Oak BFP

Fiery Fall Foliage

“I planted white acorns…  The white oak is the noblest tree in Illinois.  It will live to be a thousand years old on soil best fitted for it.” Jens Jensen Kames and Kettles Fiery Fall Foliage First Week in November The Chicago area landscape was formed by ice.  As the Wisconsin glacier receded about 13,000 […]

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More on Butterflies

  The caterpillars of Swallowtails eat only the leaves of Umbelliferous plants such as Golden Alexanders (Zizea aurea), Angelica, Queen Anne’s Lace, Coriander, Dill, and Parsley; one year I had 2 caterpillars eat all the leaves off a potted parsley plant next to my back door.  (I wish I had taken a picture.)   Sulfur […]

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Monarch Butterflies and Milkweed

    MORE ON BUTTERFLIES     Everyone knows that Monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on members of the milkweed genus and their caterpillars only eat milkweed leaves. There are, however, several species of milkweed that are more suited to gardens than the common roadside milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). If any of you have seen […]

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More Spring Woodland Wildflowers

More Spring Woodland Wildflowers The emerging purple stems of the Blue Cohosh (Cauliphyllum thalictroides) are notable, while the early yellow flowers are rather insignificant.  It follows closely on the heels of the woodland anemones mentioned in my last post.  It grows in similar circumstances, in rich woodlands, frequently on north-facing slopes.         […]

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Why Do We Think What We Think?

Why Do We Think What We Think?   Gerould Wilhelm Director of Research Conservation Research Institute 375 W. First Street Elmhurst, Illinois  60126   Revised, 21 March 2011   One of the key aspects of cultural evolution is the epistemology of its people.  Given that every thought is born from experience and exposure to antecedent […]

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