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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 ›

Katherine Romb, a volunteer with Community Animal Rescue Effort in Evanston, poses with Bella, a stray recently picked up in the north suburb. (Brian L. Cox / Special to the Tribune)

In Evanston and Skokie and many places, pets are being given up due to economy

With the economy still in the doldrums, an increasing number of people are abandoning or giving their pets up for adoption, which has put a … 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 ›

One of the 13 elk living in Elk Grove. (Heather Leszczewicz/TribLocal)

Elk herd, longtime area residents

The northwest corner of Higgins and Arlington Heights may look like an empty, fenced-in field most of the time, but, yes, there are elk in … 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 ›

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 ›

Cook County Forest Preserve wants to borrow $70 million

The Cook County Forest Preserve District moved ahead Wednesday with a plan to borrow up to $70 million to buy land and make repairs to … Read more ›

State park entrance fees: Illinois’ proposal for entry fees at state parks is seen as a sign of the times

At Starved Rock State Park, Wanda Boggs prepared sandwiches Tuesday on a vast lawn in front of the visitor center as two of her grandchildren … 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 ›

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 ›