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Naturalist Notebook

Reviews and journal entries inspired by nature in West Central Illinois.
Pumpkin Time

Pumpkin Time

Autumn is a magical time of the year. Suddenly, as the air becomes crisp, the trees and other vegetation take on new and brilliant colors previously hidden in a green haze. It is one of my favorite times of the year. Even though it means an eventual end to the growing season, it still holds many surprises and rewards for a gardener. For many years now I have been growing pumpkin...

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Dont Forget to Look Up

Don't Forget to Look Up!

Most of the time, while doing my daily walks, I will be observing things from my height and perspective which is pretty close to the ground. However, many surprises have occurred to me over the last year because I have on occasion – looked up! Each day I have my binoculars handy in case I hear or see something that is unfamiliar. Always on the lookout for a glimpse of the wildlife. Ofte...

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Us

Posted by Amanda Christenson - Poem

Stepping out of my street clothes Into the not quite warm enough water Of the frog people who sang of desire In the unique way of their kin.   The Chorus Frogs The Bull Frogs The Leopard Frogs The Green Frogs   Others competing for the attention Of a lady, perhaps seen, perhaps not. The persistent so...

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The Sounds of Nature

When we think of the outdoors and the sounds we hear around us, the first thing that usually comes to mind are the birds and their songs. Of course, we delight in hearing these wonderful songs. However, there is much more out there to hear and learn about. Over the course of time, I have become familiar with some of these other sounds and the habits of the creatures that create them. Ta...

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AFrogsLife

A Frog's Life

Over the years, I have tried to provide good habitats for the animals that live alongside me on this land. Despite my efforts though it seems that some of these creatures prefer to dwell in or on the house that I built for myself! They must find it as comfortable as I do. For the past couple of years, the tree frog population has seemed to be on the uptick here. Their...

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ANativeGem

A Native Gem

Tucked into a corner of my house on a gravelly hill, is a small shrub planted several years ago when I first arrived in Knox County. This shrub is known as Clove Current or Ribes odoratum and it certainly lives up to its description! About this time every spring, it's spicy fragrance becomes quite noticeable. Bearing yellow tubular flowers along the length of its stems, it perfumes the...

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A Fish Tale

A Fish Tale

As a child, I was very fortunate to have grown up near a creek. The small stream known as Springbrook Creek that flowed by my house and through rural DuPage County was a child's paradise! Little did I know then that it would prepare me for becoming a naturalist and that I would be living alongside another creek later in my life. The headwaters of Henderson Creek intersect my property as...

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