brilliant red fall color of Eastern Wahoo shrub

You feel it, don't you? Sunrise coming later, sunset earlier, and the roller rink of acorns underfoot. The change of seasons is well underway. And just as you are pulling out your dark season outdoor gear-those flannel shirts, wool socks, and warm gloves--the trees and shrubs are pulling out their fall wardrobe as well. The vivid reds, rich purples, buttery yellows, and that almost indescribable fiery rosy orange of Illinois' deciduous trees and shrubs are a visual feast.  

green wavy leaves with acorns

As the summer progressed and the news filled with increased extreme weather events came across our screens, it became even harder to ignore the impacts of climate change on our lives. Especially when those impacts hit hard at home from increased vector diseases to the flooding in Northeastern Illinois.

adult gypsy moth on hand
Forest canopy defoliated
A view from our campground looking up.

My family and I recently t

Upper branches of white oak tree

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 oak our state tree. We celebrate the month of October as Oak Awareness Month or Oaktober fest.