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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 ›

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 ›

Black-legged ticks like this female work their way up the mammal chain as they evolve, until they can suck blood -- and possibly transmit pathogents -- to humans and their pets. (Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune / April 2, 2012)

Warm weather has ticks out earlier than normal this year

The drawback to our mild winter and early, unusually warm spring is that ticks — those tiny, potentially dangerous creatures — have come out early. … Read more ›

Argonne researcher Cristina Negri examines plants used to clean pollutants from the environment. She will speak on this and other work at Argonne's first public lecture.
From the community

Argonne National Laboratory launches new public lecture series

Leading scientists and engineering experts will speak at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory as part of a new public lecture series called … Read more ›

The warm winter has been kind to this squirrel, which reaches for a bud on a small branch at Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve in Oak Brook Monday. (Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune / March 12, 2012)

Unseasonably warm March proves a mixed bag for animals, plants

Ecologist Steve Sullivan was trolling for voles recently when he noticed something quite unusual: Swarms of flies buzzing about the Chicago area, in winter. But … 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 ›

Mike Iaconelli with two big tournament bass.   Photo by BASS and Rob Russow
From the community

Is it Ike’s turn?

After a year of fishing in a variety of tournaments across the nation, 49 of the best anglers will finally compete in the 2012 Bassmaster … Read more ›

Joan Sayre took this photo of a great horned owl in her Libertyville back yard. The adult owls raised two young, which she saw in early June two years ago.

Hooting great horned owls celebrate Valentine’s Day

Beneath a full moon on a cold, winter’s evening, the pair begins its courtship duet. Hoo hoo hoooo hooo hoo, he bellows atop a walnut … Read more ›

We could see northern lights tonight, thanks to solar flare

For the second time in just three months, people in the Chicago area have a shot at seeing the northern lights this evening. That’s because … Read more ›