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A Nature Journal

Experience the natural world with east central Illinois master naturalists
winter

Farewell Winter... Welcome Spring

Posted by Maddy Kangas -

Late winter, frightened winter, winter that knows it's losing its grip on the earth. Late winter can't hold rivers in suspension like stone or hardened iron. Rivers are quietly coming to life, moving through the heart of Illinois like new blood coursing through the veins of winter's victim. Last snow, the most winter could conjure up to make an attempt to show its power. Landscape tones in grey...

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butter

The Buckeye

Posted by Maddy Kangas -

While wandering the grassy side paths at Meadowbrook Park, I stepped into a colony of medium-sized brown butterflies with circular orange and black markings on their forewings. It turns out they were Common Buckeye Butterflies (Junonia coenia). The markings are apparently a form of protective coloration, startling predators because they look like eyes....

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unnamed

The Harvester

Posted by Maddy Kangas -

The words 'carnivorous' and 'butterfly' aren't often used in the same sentence outside of fifties-era grade B monster movies. But a chance encounter in my back yard set off a flurry of research into the lifestyle of this singular species. Meet Feniseca tarquinius, the Harvester. It is North America's only carnivorous butterfly. With a wingspan averaging between 1-1/8" and 1-ΒΌ", no one n...

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