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Nature

A cougar at Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria. (E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune / June 14, 2012)

Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest

Cougars are again spreading across the Midwest a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region, according … Read more ›

Callery Pear infestation in a natural area (Photo from Bugwood Wiki, University of Georgia)
From the community

Invasive Ornamental Plants Pose Threat for Native Wildlife

In winter we dream of spring. We peruse garden catalogs for beautiful plants to adorn our homes. When late spring arrives and the danger of … Read more ›

Zebra mussels are an aquatic invasives species that has been problematic in the Great Lakes region since the 1990's.  (Photo from WI IDNR)
From the community

Aquatic Invasive Species Found at a Lake Near You

Asian carp. Zebra and quagga mussels. Brazilian elodea and Eurasian watermilfoil. Their names read like a list of recent headlines. All of these aquatic animals … Read more ›

Saturday night is prime time for Lyrids meteoroid watching

Saturday night promises to be cold, a little damp and dark — a great night to be outdoors, if you’re a stargazer. The hours from … Read more ›

A tag on an ash tree in Lake in the Hills signals the infestation of the emerald ash borer. (Lawerence Synett/Tribune)

Emerald ash borer infestation spikes in McHenry County, state

An infestation of emerald ash borer continues to ravage McHenry County, destroying thousands of ash trees with seemingly no end in sight. The tree-killer has … Read more ›

Dandelions are creeping up in lawns all over suburbia. (Sheryl DeVore/Tribune)

The lowly dandelion: It’s got some good points

Dandelions are cropping up in lawns all over suburbia and the city–and that’s got homeowners screaming as it usually does this time of year. Some … Read more ›

A chorus frog is no larger than a thumb when fully grown. (Sheryl DeVore/Tribune)

Chorus frogs signal spring

It’s no bigger than your thumb, but its song can resonate across the marshes.  In fact, when a group of these amphibians called chorus frogs … Read more ›

James Zimmerman with a new Illinois state record walleye.  Photo courtesy IL DNR
From the community

Pecatonica gives up 2nd state record Walleye

It wasn’t that long ago when there was a lot of talk about a new state record walleye being caught. On January 7th of this … Read more ›

Illinois Beach State Park Site Superintendent Greg Behm inspects some of the damage last summer after a storm downed downed hundreds of trees there. (Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune / July 15, 2011)

State park entrance fees backed

Illinois Beach State Park has been closed since a devastating storm last summer downed hundreds of trees, making it unsafe for visitors. But a proposed … Read more ›

White clover, a common edible weed in Illinois, is likely the species that sometimes produces four leaves, giving it the name four-leaf clover and supposedly giving the finder good luck. Tribune file photo

Four-leaf clover: Rare variation of a common, edible weed (and may be good luck)

That sometimes pesky white clover creeping into your grass in spring is the same plant that supposedly brings luck to those who find it in … Read more ›