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A Nature Journal

Experience the natural world with east central Illinois master naturalists
Red Admiral

The Beautiful Butterflies of Spring

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

It has been fun to watch emerging insect life here in Champaign. It's a little too early for the migratory Monarch, because the Monarch's caterpillar food source, milkweed, isn't flowering yet. But Illinois has plenty of butterflies who overwinter as hibernating adults, eggs, caterpillars, or chrysalids. These are getting out and about in the neighborhood....

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Rain Gardens: Beautiful and Functional

Posted by Maddy Kangas -

On May 13, a group of master naturalists kicked off the cleanup of the rain garden we maintain for Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation at 302 North FirstStreet in Champaign.The siberian irises (Iris sibirica)were at their peak with blue false indigo (Baptisiaaustralis) just about ready to burst on the scene. Cathy Barnard (MN 2014) is the site steward for the rain garden.With he...

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Jack or Jackie?

Posted by Maddy Kangas -

Have you ever tried to distinguish a male plant from a female one? Take, for example, the Jack-in-the-pulpit. Later in the season, the females will be showing red berries. Right now, in early May, the plants all look the same. The sexuality of Jack-in-the-pulpits is actually quite complicated. The plants are hermaphroditic, often exhibiting male and female flowers on...

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Master Naturalists Learn About the Birds and the Bees!

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

As a reason to get together and eat and do some good, Master Naturalists will assemble bluebird and bee nesting boxes at a potluck from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25 at the Urbana Park District operations building at 1101 East Kerr, Urbana , IL. Please send an email ( dianeed@sbcglobal.net ) if you plan t...

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Beautiful Butterflies: The Tiger Swallowtail

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

A recent sunny morning ushered in a visiting butterfly to my yard and I was lucky enough to snap a few portraits.Then, a couple of friends asked about Tiger Swallowtails and how to attract them to their own yards. According to the Illinois Natural History Survey book Butterflies of Illinois , the Tiger Swallowtail ( Papilio glaucus) is a year-round resident throughout Il...

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