Environmental Almanac - September 29, 2016

Ancient Oaks a Living Link to Big Grove

When people think about the landscape of central Illinois prior to European settlement they tend to think “prairie,” vast expanses of flat land covered in tall grass and tall flowers. And for the most part, that image is accurate. But groves of trees intruded on the grasslands here and there, especially on the eastern edges of rivers and streams, creating natural breaks to prairie fires driven by winds from the west.

Environmental Almanac - September 16, 2016

Late summer a great time to appreciate nature close to home

Even though there’s time on the calendar before Autumn begins officially, we’ve passed some important marks on the cultural calendar. Labor Day is a memory, the new school year is in full swing, and the season of traveling to outdoor destinations is over. For me, that means it’s a great time to renew appreciation for the undramatic nature that surrounds us every day.

Environmental Almanac - September 08, 2016

An Ecological Look at Acorns

Acorns are everywhere in the fall, as anyone who bicycles where there are oaks can attest. While these seeds may be a minor annoyance on the road, they’re much more interesting and important from an ecological perspective.