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A Nature Journal

Experience the natural world with east central Illinois master naturalists
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Fault Lines Under Our Feet

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

This part of the Midwest isn't exactly San Francisco, or even Oklahoma City, where an outbreak of earth tremors is thought to be linked to deep-well injection by the oil industry. But there are fault lines beneath our feet, a University of Illinois geologist said Monday, and seismographic studies are in progress to help keep track of what they're doing. Stephen Marshak (photo), director...

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Florida-Orchard Prairie Coming Into Its Own

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

John Marlin came to a turning point in the summer of 2011. Driving home from work, he spotted a lone figure in the middle of a large prairie planting on Florida Avenue in Urbana. It was University of Illinois student Sarah Menning, president of the campus environmental group Red Bison, digging weeds with a round-end shovel — "this poor woman by herself with an inappropriate tool, surrou...

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Rare Shay’s Trillium in Allerton Park

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

A Master Naturalist volunteer has added Piatt County to a very short list of places where Shay's Trillium has been observed in Illinois. The plant, Trillium recurvatum shayii, is a form of the common Prairie Trillium. It was spotted in April 2015 between Allerton's Centaur and Sunsinger statues by an East Central Illinois Master Naturalist who wishes to remain anonymous. Nate Be...

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Milkweed Bug Pic

Another Colorful Creature Found on Milkweeds

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

With all the talk about milkweeds, some of you may have planted a few to create habitat for the benefit of the Monarch Butterfly. (It's the one year anniversary of an article on Illinois milkweeds and Monarchs which appeared in the December, 2014 Field Notes.) As a dividend, you may have attracted some really beautiful little creatures called milkweed bugs. They are in the order Hemiptera, othe...

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