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A Nature Journal

Experience the natural world with east central Illinois master naturalists
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Invasives: They're Everywhere!

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

Diane and Ed Wilhite (MN 2009) recently traveled to New Zealand. Here's what Master Naturalists do on vacation. While in New Zealand, we spent some time removing invasive plants on a stretch of coastal land that is being restored to a native environment. With their remote, fragile biome, New Zealanders are quite vigilant working to extirpate existing invasives and to restr...

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Jack-in-the-Pulpit – a most mystical plant

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

It loves heavy shade and wet ground, it's relatively unaffected by insects and diseases, and it can even survive a nearby Black Walnut. It's a native perennial known as Jack-in-the Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum, and is found in woodlands throughout most of the eastern half of the United States. Indeed, it appears in every Illinois county. This spring wildflower grows from an underground c...

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Winter Trees I Have Known and Loved

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

Last weekend, while working with the Kickapoo Krew Master Naturalists, I had the good fortune to be introduced to a beautiful bald cypress (Taxodium distichum). Although it is a conifer, the bald cypress drops its leaves in winter. You can see, in the photo, the lacy bracts (future cones) along its branches and the delightful little gnome-like "knees" along the pond's edge....

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