Rob Kanter

Environmental Almanac - February 13, 2020

Appreciating Illinois amphibians and the habitats that support them

It may be too early in the year to contemplate April showers bringing May flowers. But in much of Illinois heavy rains in late February and early March trigger an astonishing and ancient natural phenomenon—the annual congregation of amphibians in the waters where they breed.

Symplocarpus foetidus, or Skunk Cabbage, growing out of snow

Rob Kanter

Environmental Almanac - February 06, 2020

Get out soon to find the first flower of spring

People who go looking for beauty in the woodlands of central Illinois tend to get excited about the months of April and May, when showy beauties like Virginia bluebells carpet the woodland floor. But if you wait until April to get out, you may already be a month late for the emergence of the first flower of spring.

Rob Kanter

Environmental Almanac - January 30, 2020

It’s time to make woodchucks well-loved

How do you expand appreciation for an animal beyond a single day out of the year? Listen as U of I student Grace Finnell-Gudwien shares her interest in groundhogs.

Rob Kanter

Environmental Almanac - January 23, 2020

Invitation to opening for a photography show

I’m going to start today where I would normally end, by plugging an event. On Saturday, February 1st, you are invited to the Anita Purves Nature in Urbana for the opening of an exhibit titled, “Life and Land,” featuring photography by two locals, yours truly and Brad Hudson, who I know in his role as a teacher of photography at the U of I. In broad terms, the “life” part of the exhibit will be prints of digital photos by me of birds and other local creatures, and the “land” part will be prints produced through traditional gelatin-silver processes by Brad.

Rob Kanter holding a small garter snake

Photo by Rob Kanter

Environmental Almanac - May 23, 2019

A love of life—even snakes [from the archive]

Thanks to a friend who’s more observant than me, I recently discovered a new species of reptile in my own backyard, a plains garter snake. Maybe I should clarify by saying I mean the plains garter snake was “new” to me, not new to science or the wider world.

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