Nature's Storytellers

A Blog About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Keep Away! Hogweed, Hemlock and Parsnip

Many plants have amazing adaptations that protect them from being eaten or destroyed by other organisms. That’s good for them but can be bad for people who come in contact with them.
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Attracting Swallowtails to Your Garden

on 7/22/20 1:54 PM By | Abby Dean | 0 Comments | Insider Plants Wildlife Nature native plant Native Plant Sale
Swallowtail butterflies are some of the largest, showiest butterflies found in Illinois. A visit from one in your garden is always a welcome delight.
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Where the Native Wild Things Are

Somewhere, in a relatively small section of Blackwell Forest Preserve nestled along Mack Road, lies a special place where native plants grow.
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The Power of Pollinators

“Nature is to be found in her entirety nowhere more than in her smallest creatures.” ~ Pliny the Elder
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Where the Native Plants Grow

Planting native plants in our yards and gardens is gaining popularity for good reasons.
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Best Native Shrubs for Your Yard

With winter slowly fading and signs of spring arriving daily, gardeners are getting the itch.
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Slow Down on Spring Cleaning in Your Garden

With the recent warm weather and native plants starting to emerge from their winter slumber, folks may be eager to do some spring cleaning in their gardens.
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Restoring a Creek's Meander

on 3/18/20 4:19 PM By | Scott Meister | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Trails Natural resources Plants Wildlife Nature
For many years, Spring Brook — as it flows through Blackwell Forest Preserve — has been channelized. That is, water flowed within a straight, narrow channel, which led to erosion along the streambanks.
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Be-leaf-ing

Autumn is a time to enjoy the crispness of the weather and the colors of the trees. The yellow, red and orange colors of the oaks, maples and hickories paint a beautiful landscape, making this time of year an experience in art.
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Scientists Search for Clues to Grassland Bird Habitats

More than a dozen ecologists from local conservation agencies toured the 1,800-acre Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve in Naperville recently to explore and learn more about the high-quality grassland habitat that has been transformed into a birder’s paradise by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
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Restoring More of the Great Prairie

The 358-acre West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve in West Chicago is one of northeastern Illinois’ premier natural areas, containing more than 600 species of native plants and animals.
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Unexpected Garden Delights

You expect to encounter native plants and wildlife when you visit DuPage forest preserves, but you don’t expect to find amazing gardens abloom in gorgeous flowers.
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Spring Woodland Wildflower Guide

Of all the seasonal blooms, spring wildflowers seem to capture our hearts and attention the most, likely because they’re the first we see after months of drab landscapes. Most grow in woodlands and for that reason are short-lived, or “ephemeral.” They must sprout, grow, flower, fruit and set seeds before the trees leaf out and block the sun. Some spring flowers are a memory by summer, but a few produce leaves that last into autumn. Below are a few you’ll see this season, so enjoy them while they last!
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Contain Your Love of Gardening

on 4/2/19 3:25 PM By | Dave Andrusyk | 0 Comments | Insider Plants Nature native plant Native Plant Sale
I know many folks who are interested in growing native plants but feel they can’t because they don’t have a yard or room in their yard to grow them. 
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Points to Ponder Before Raising Monarch Caterpillars

on 3/20/19 11:50 AM By | Andres Ortega | 0 Comments | Insider Plants Wildlife Conservation Nature native plant
Full disclosure: I’ve always liked insects. As a child I found them intensely interesting and spent hours just watching them walk, feed and fly. As an adult I came to realize their critical importance to our natural habitats (not to mention our food supply). 
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Greene Farm Barn Provides Clues to Future Forestry

Scientists are hoping old-growth timber from the Greene Farm Barn and Graue Mill will help them determine how to help future trees withstand adversity in the form of fires, pest outbreaks and extreme weather conditions.
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Sowing Seeds in the Snow

on 1/23/19 11:03 AM By | Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 0 Comments | Insider Plants Nature
For local gardeners, winter’s a time to take stock of what did well during the previous year and to look forward to the coming crop of plant catalogs in the mail. But in DuPage County, Forest Preserve District employees and volunteers are already seeding for spring. It’s a technique called “frost seeding,” and it uses the way many plants grow naturally to improve a variety of habitats.
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The Plight of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

on 11/6/18 2:20 PM By | Andres Ortega | 0 Comments | Insider Locations Natural resources Plants Conservation Nature
I think it’s just human nature to run in the opposite direction when we see a big black-and-yellow insect flying our way. But when it comes to the rusty patched bumble bee, our reaction to this federally endangered species should lean more toward excitement and compassion.
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Saving the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid

Patience is a virtue, especially if you’re trying to save the federally threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid.
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Forest Fave: Willowbrook Butterfly Garden

When Willowbrook Wildlife Center site manager Sandy Fejt needs a break from caring for injured native wildlife at the center, she doesn’t have to look far. One of Sandy’s favorite spots at the Glen Ellyn forest preserve is the butterfly garden. She helped with the original design of the garden and loves to teach visitors the benefits of creating a garden out of native plants. Sandy plays a large part in the District’s mission to grow and maintain milkweed plants to provide habitat and food for the struggling monarch butterfly population. 
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