Thoughts on Nature

Exploring Chicago, the suburbs and the world: Animals, plants -- indoors and out -- anything from fun and inspirational stories to controversies about the natural world -- please be respectful of others

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Natural skirmish — a poem

Woodcocks peent, peent, peent sounding like road runners

Human ears wait for the whirring feathers, then  eyes squint and gaze into the sky as the shorebird circles higher and higher

Chirpity chirpy chirpy

The woodcock returns to the spot where he started

This evening, however, woodcocks are not sure about boundaries

After a few peents,

Two woodcocks fly into the sky in tandem

Wings noisy, gutteral syrinx noises

It is a fight to the top of the sky

They return, still in fight mode.

Then, all is quiet.

Who won?

It is too dark to see.

—Sheryl DeVore, Author

Long-eared owls heading back north

We’ve been lucky to see long-eared owls in northern Illinois this winter—now they’re heading north for breeding in the boreal forests and other areas. Very rarely, a pair will remain here to nest.

Chorus frogs signal spring

Here’s a story I wrote for TribLocal about chorus frogs. Are there any frogs singing in your neck of the woods?

Should Illinoisans pay state park entrance fees?

Read the story here

Let me know what you think. The photo below shows devastation at Illinois Beach State Park from last summer’s storm. Park is still not open to public.

Reblogged from fairy-wren

fairy-wren: costa’s hummingbird  (photo by angella parker)

Oh my gosh — how gorgeous!


fairy-wren: costa’s hummingbird  (photo by angella parker)

Oh my gosh — how gorgeous!

(via ima-wildflower)

Reblogged from llbwwb

Mori Point in May - AGrinberg @ flickr


Mori Point in May - AGrinberg @ flickr

What’s a four leaf clover?

Find out more about this edible weed here.

Sandhill cranes return

As the snow, what little we had this year, melts, sandhill cranes are returning to their nesting grounds. This photo was posted on

Cooper’s Hawk not a bad guy

In regards to a recent story on the Chicago Tribune about Cooper’s hawks terrorizing ducks at a zoo, here’s some extra information:  Cooper’s hawk was once endangered in the State of Illinois. When DDT was banned, its numbers began to rise and now it can be seen in neighborhoods where there are bird feeders and songbirds at the feeders. The  Cooper’s hawk is much more apt to take a small songbird than a full grown duck. It is a natural part of the avifauna of Illinois.