A Skunk Cabbage grows out of the snow

Rob Kanter

Environmental Almanac - February 27, 2014

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.

An Arctic ground squirrel peeks out from its burrow under the snow

Øivind Tøien

Environmental Almanac - February 06, 2014

We’re not alone coping with the cold

You’ve probably had about enough of winter by now. But other mammals have to find ways of coping with winter as well - from hibernation to energy storage to huddling together for warmth and to save energy.

A case from the James Fry insect collection, containing familiar moths and butterflies

Rob Kanter

Environmental Almanac - January 30, 2014

Citizen scientists ensure insect collection put to good use

Members of the Illinois Grand PrairieMaster Naturalists help catalogue the contents of a collection of more than 2300 individual species of insects - and it’s critical that their identity is confirmed before being used for scientific and educational purposes

Mallard ducks in a creek

Rob Kanter

Environmental Almanac - January 09, 2014

Enviromental Resolutions For 2014

"In 2014, I resolve to stay attuned to the local environment as I go about my business, and encourage others to cultivate their own appreciation for the wonders of the nearby natural world."

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