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mussel in sand substrate

If Illinois freshwater mussels could talk...

The spring rains have come, and the streams are running. Gliding over the somewhat cloudy waters of a creek in west-central Illinois, I took my kayak out to explore the changing landscape.  A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the wild world of freshwater mussels.  So,...
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A woman in a vest, long sleeved flannel shirt and gloves prunes a tree branch with hand clippers

Late winter tree care sets the foundation for trees to thrive

Late winter and early spring are critical transition periods for trees, making the shift from dormancy to active growth. Proper care during these seasons sets the foundation for healthy, vibrant trees throughout the year. Late-winter care along with spring practices, will help trees transition and...
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antler on dried leaves

Look for early spring wildlife

The transition zone between winter and spring is a fascinating time to explore the wildlife of Illinois.  Here are a few of the neat opportunities for watching wildlife in early spring. Want to learn more? Check out the...
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close up photo of insect hole on tree

Cantankerous cavities

Most cavities in a tree are caused by some type of living organism, either an animal or a pathogen of some sort. Some cavities will only be found in dead trees or a portion of a live tree with dead wood. Other cavities can be in otherwise completely healthy trees. Let’s take a look at some of the...
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Blog Authors
Duane Friend

Duane Friend

State Master Naturalist Coordinator and Climate Change Specialist
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