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Naturalist News 2020

Beaver chew

Nature's Current Event - The Beaver Moon

The Beaver Moon was at its fullest this morning at 3:30 a.m. CDT. My unreasonable alarm, set for 3:15 a.m. to view it, was for nothing more than a drink of water. Here in northern Illinois it was overcast and only my faith in the moon’s existence was clear. However, as I peered half asleep at the...
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Crawfish frog adult

Species Profile – Crawfish Frog

Imagine you are five years old and playing in the tall grass, feeling the spongy wet soil beneath your feet, when suddenly the quiet is interrupted by shockingly loud, deep guttural calls all around you.   You are startled beyond your wits and leap out of the grass in a rush back to the house...
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Tree Identification

Event: Annual Day of Learning

September blue is not a paint color option at the home improvement store, though it should be. September blue is the distinct color of the sky in that imperceptible month between the last heated days of August and the ever so popular start of fall in October. In land management and conservation...
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Upper branches of white oak tree

Species Profile: White Oak

The mighty white oak tree, Quercus alba, has long been the subject of folklore and legend. Sometimes called the “King of Trees,” the oak is often associated with titans in the pagan pantheon, Zeus and Thor to name just two. In Illinois, we recognize its importance and have named the white...
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Hill Prairie overlooking river

Ecological Profile: Hill Prairies of Illinois

Illinois is the prairie state, but don’t think all prairies are the same.  While deep-soil, tallgrass prairie dominated much of the landscape, other prairie types found niches too. Along some of the big river systems in Illinois, hill prairies found a home perched at the top of steep, rocky bluffs...
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Header image of Local OPAL creator Julie Robinson in a Kayak with the Local OPAL Logo

Local OPAL- Guiding People to Nature

Illinois Master Naturalists want to experience as much of the natural world as possible and share that passion with their fellow citizens. Peoria County Master Naturalist, Julie Robinson, took this mission to heart when observing students spending less and less time outdoors and more time in front...
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Master Naturalist Profile: Nachusa Prairie Steward

Our first Master Naturalist profile is a man with a heart for conservation, Joe Richardson.  Joe doesn’t claim to be anything more than a retired man who loves nature. That stated, on average he volunteers 289.5 hours annually with our conservation partners at The...
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Welcome to Naturalist News

Did you ever splash in mud puddles as a kid? How about climb a tree or catch lightning bugs in a jar? If so, you just might be a naturalist. Illinois Master Naturalists are individuals who continue to explore, wonder, and enjoy nature in all of her glory, warts and all. Truth be told, they are...
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