Nature Rambles

Nature Rambles | Look and Listen

Gray treefrog

June is the month when several species of milkweed come into bloom. This is Butterfly Milkweed, above, with distinct orange flowers. Native milkweeds are important nectar sources for many species of insects. They are also crucial nurse species for Monarch…

Nature Rambles

Trumpeter Swans return With a wingspan of over 7 feet and weighing close to 30 pounds, the Trumpeter Swan is considered the largest native waterfowl species in North America. It is a bird that once nested across the upper United…

Nature Rambles

A world of wounds September has gone down in history for its record-breaking warmth. Locally, it has turned out to be one of the driest as well. Each month we hear we broke a record, and collectively each year seems…

Nature Rambles

The Big Sit! It’s the world’s most sedentary birding event — The Big Sit! This worldwide event is hosted by Bird Watcher’s Digest and founded by the New Haven (Conn.) Birder’s Club. It takes place all over the world the…

Nature Rambles

Singing Woods is growing! On May 24, 2017, the Peoria Park District acquired a 9-acre parcel of woodlands. It was part of an estate that was home to the Raistrick family for a couple of generations. After the death of…

Nature Rambles

A Complex Housing Market At the Peoria Park District’s Tawny Oaks Field Station, we are working hard to enhance the area for nesting birds. I feel like a new landlord; hanging out the “tenant wanted” sign and hoping for full…

Nature Rambles

What we fear It was a sickening site, lying on the side of the road — the freshly dead body of a black rat snake. Tire tracks coming off the pavement, onto the road shoulder to hit the snake, then…