Illinois Odonate Survey monitor Jim Wolf explains why he volunteers counting dragonflies and damselflies. For more, click here.
— Brad Semel in story about piping plovers.Photo of piping plover by Vince Cavalieri.
Pamela Newton said this about the new nature preserve in Hawthorn Woods, designed to help monarchs and other wildlife. It contains myriad native trees, shrubs and wildflowers; plus volunteers and officials are working to eradicate purple loosestrife and buckthorn and add more native vegetation. Read here.
Photo below of Hawthorn Woods mayor releasing monarchs at the preserve’s opening. Sheryl DeVore/Photography
Christie Mill, who volunteers at an outdoor food pantry garden, enjoys harvesting food to donate to the needy. She gets help in her endeavors from local master gardeners. Read more
Louis Kasper, a Vernon Hills resident, sad to see the Wauconda site of the Lake County Discovery Museum close. It will relocate to Libertyville in about a year.
Below, Louis Kasper, stands next to a fossilized rock at the Wauconda site, which closed Aug. 31.
For more, click here.
— Mike Sands, senior associate, Liberty Prairie Foundation
For a story on rain gardens, click here.
— Tom Smith, Lake County Forest Preserves land-management technician and Native American dancer
Read what it’s like to discover and embrace your Native American heritage in this article I wrote about Tom Smith, an extraordinary Renaissance man. Click here.
- Brad Semel in an article I wrote entitled, “Rare birds nesting at hazardous cleanup site in Waukegan”
Two more federally endangered birds have returned to Lake County, but the future of their nesting site remains undecided.
Last year, a pair of piping plovers nested at Illinois Beach State Park along Lake Michigan in Zion. And despite the fact that a peregrine falcon snatched the adult male before the chicks were born, all four young shorebirds survived — and one was even found wintering in Georgia.
This year, two of those chicks, now adults, returned to nest on the formerly asbestos-ridden Johns Manville property in Waukegan, the site of a federal Superfund project to clean up hazardous materials. The nesting site is about a half-mile from where they were born.
For the rest of the story, click here.
Photo of piping plover at Johns Manville in Waukegan by John Henneghan
Happy second day of May — I chose to walk through Wright Woods today in Vernon Hills — Of course I was hoping for an influx of migrant birds — but it was fairly quiet — save for a few cool experiences I’ll reveal later on. But the most breathtaking moment, one I just cannot capture in film was the sea of white — the great white trillium carpeting the forest floor. If you have not been to Wright Woods in early May to see the trillium — get yourself there now. They don’t last long. They are in full bloom now and soon they will start to turn pink and wither.
Singing in the woodlands today were yellow-rumped and palm warblers, a northern waterthrush and two dueling yellow warblers — I heard them singing from a shrub row off the path and hiked in to watch two males flying to and fro and shouting out their songs. Yellow warblers sing sweet, sweet, sweet, sweeter than sweet, but they also sing a song similar to that of a chestnut-sided warbler — they were doing both today — so of course I had to get off the path to confirm 😉 My reward for getting off the path — two big deer ticks. I know ticks are nature, too, but still — I think it’s going to be a bad tick year.
Another little off the beaten path revealed a pair of wood ducks and a beaver — who realized I was there and swam out of sight, flapping his flat tail behind him.
So now for the grunting rails — while walking along some wetland/cattail areas at Half Day Woods, connected to Wright Woods, I heard a loud grunting noise — followed by another nearby. I peered in between the cattails to see one rail dashing after another. They continued their gruntings for a bit — I tired to join in, but they knew I was an imposter.
Here’s a link to the crazy sounds of Virginia rails.
This was really a cool and lucky find — they just decided to get “mad” at each other while I was walking by.
You just never know what you’ll find when you’re out in the wild — and to add joy to the day I met some lovely bird monitors and had a lovey chat with Jackie Dann about life, nature and birds.
Happy May 2.
Can you guess what this source is talking about?
“They’re just so great to watch, with their ruby, red eyes and beautiful reptilian-like backs.”
— David B. Johnson
For the answer , click here.
Don’t forget to share your favorite quotes from people you interview or you read about.