Author Archive for Dale Goodner

Relentless proximity

Despite an official letter of opposition from the Marshall County Board and widespread opposition from local residents, an Iowa firm has received tentative approval from the Illinois Department of Agriculture for Sandy Lane LLC Hog Farm, a massive, 20,000-head hog…

The wisdom of crowds

goinggreen

James Surowiecki wrote a book a few years ago that began with an anecdote about a crowd that guessed the weight of an ox. When their individual guesses were averaged, they were spot on. The title sums it up: “The…

In defense of the dandelion

goinggreen

It’s been called a lot of things: Priest’s Crown, Irish Daisy, Swine’s Snout, Milk Witch and Peasant’s Cloak, to name a few. But regardless of its name, the dandelion is a plant almost everyone knows. This alone makes it special.…

By any other name

goinggreen

Many Peorians will remember the names, “Uncle Bob and Aunt Billy.” Bob and Sybil Prager were naturalists at Forest Park Nature Center over four decades ago. Bob was a pioneer in restoring some of the beautiful, though little known, flora native to Central Illinois, from the fragile snow trillium, to shooting star, to the eight foot tall big bluestem grass. The clearing where the Nature Center’s “Deer Run Trail” meets “Valley Trail,” is actually an amazingly diverse prairie planting, that was meticulously planted and weeded by Bob, Sybil, and a small cadre of volunteers.

What is essential

Nancy Utesch has a quotation inscribed on a stone in her kitchen, right above the stove: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” This quote from Antoine de…

Tweets Twitters and Onomatopoeia

Amid solitude and snow, the sound of “chick-a-dee-dee-dee,” gives voice to the winter wind. That one-of-a-kind call is so common and recognizable it gives the chickadee its unusual name. This familiar bird may be tiny but it has a very…

Cones, Conifers, & Christmas

The practice of bringing an evergreen tree indoors to celebrate the winter solstice very likely began around the 16th century in Germany. Now conifers and Christmas go together like eggs and Easter; like cake and birthdays, like Molly and Fibber…