Saying Goodbye to Garlic Mustard

By Audra Ebling Growing up as a city kid, I regarded any plant that bloomed as beautiful and “good,” a worthy specimen, a garden treasure. I knew better than to pick the flowers my mom cultivated in our backyard borders but the yellow dandelions in the grass were fair game and she kindly received many …

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Close Up of Glass Lizard's Head

The Secretive Legless Lizard

By Evan Kaiafas The sand prairie regions of Northwest Indiana and Northeast Illinois are filled with an incredible diversity of reptiles and amphibians. Many of these species are what I like to call “sand specialists” because, through evolution, they have become perfectly equipped to deal with the unique conditions of a sand prairie ecosystem. These …

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Mink Monitoring Part 5: Earth Day Edition

By: Jim Haniford Well, here we are, a little over five months into Shirley Heinze Land Trust’s trail cam monitoring project at Meadowbrook Nature Preserve.  We’re marking Earth Day on the west branch of the tributary of Salt Creek, a waterway that rambles carelessly through the bottomlands of the ancient moraine.  The occasion is attended …

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Peeperpalooza Arrives in the Great Marsh

By: Audra Ebling For much of my life, my sensory experience of springtime leaned heavily on sight and scent. The lemony yellow of a daffodil glowing against the still-dormant grass. The irresistible perfume of a neighbor’s lilac bushes, which managed to slow down my pace on my otherwise rushed walk to the train. These were …

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Nature In My Backyard – April Activities

Introducing Nature In My Backyard, a new resource page where you’ll find monthly activities and challenges for the whole family to explore nature… right in your own neighborhood! Here’s your lead challenge for April!   April is Earth Month We’re well into the spring season, and every day there are more signs of spring that …

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Autumn Olive, Buckthorn and Privet, Oh My!

By Audra Ebling Once you see them, you can’t un-see them. Invasive plant species, that is. They are everywhere. My first personal experience with invasive species occurred when we bought a house on the north side of Chicago in the mid 90s that had a morning glory-type vine crawling its way up the garage. Charming, …

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Snowy Scenes: Mink Monitoring Part 4

By: Jim Haniford Well, here we are.  It’s the fourth blog already.  Hard to believe it’s been over a month since I started sharing these experiences with you.  They’re the field notes of our ongoing campaign to monitor the American mink along a tributary of Salt Creek that snakes its way through Meadowbrook Nature Preserve.  …

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