Hooded Warbler singing on a tree branch

Rob Kanter

May 01, 2015 - Environmental Almanac

Embrace Your Inner Birder and Enjoy Spring Migration in Illinois

A variety of birds have been migrating through central Illinois since February. During the late winter and early spring something like 240 species of birds belonging to 39 families pass this way. But for most birders, the highlight of spring is songbird migration, and that becomes most intense over the next few of weeks.


Participants at the Allerton Winter Tree Identification Hike looking up at a state champion 
swamp white oak

Rob Kanter

February 05, 2015 - Environmental Almanac

Learning to See Trees Through “New Eyes” at Allerton

Most people who can tell the difference between tree species in the summer have difficulty in winter because they’re naked — the trees, that is, not the people. The goal of the winter tree identification hike at Allerton Park goal was to teach participants other cues to tell them apart.


Rob Kanter holds a smallmouth bass in a boat on the Salt Fork River

Rick Larimore

August 14, 2014 - Environmental Almanac

Floating, Fishing on the Salt Fork River

Recreational activities like fishing and wildlife spotting on rivers like the The Salt Fork River—and rivers like it across the country— can serve as a reminder that these rivers were once treated by industry as sewers and rendered unfit for use by wildlife or people. But during the course of just a few decades, they’ve come back, thanks in large part to the federal Clean Water Act that forced polluters to take responsibility for their waste.


A Skunk Cabbage grows out of the snow

Rob Kanter

February 27, 2014 - Environmental Almanac

On the hunt for first flower of spring

The “skunk cabbage,” is a plant that lives up to its name, giving off a distinct, skunk-like odor. But this distinct early spring flower also distinguishes itself from all other plants native to Illinois by the fact that it generates heat--enough so that its flower can remain 36 degrees F warmer than the surrounding air for a period of about two weeks.



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