Nature Around Chicago
Our walks through forest preserves and parks are always different.
Like everywhere else on the planet, the weather has been different here. Plants have seemed to welcome this year's increase in rain. Parks, grasslands, forests are green, green, green, and wildflowers, which struggled from drought last season, are prolific. Frequent rainstorms, which usually just pass through, make the light interesting, particularly near sunset.
Volunteers in Harms Woods in Glenview and Fort Sheridan and Middlefork forest preserves have spent thousands of hours working to restore the natural ecology. They have removed tons of invasive and diseased plants such as Buckthorn, Garlic Mustard, Honeysuckle, and Ash trees; conducted many controlled burns; and cleared stream beds and edges. They continue while their work gives new life to native plants and wildlife, and yields cleaner streams. Spring ephemerals: Wild Geraniums, May Apples, and Trillia have bloomed and give way to Wild Roses, Solomon Seal, Wild Iris, which continue adding colour throughout the forests and savannahs. Birds like the native species, too. Northern Cardinals, Common Flickers, Baltimore Orioles, Blue Grosbeaks, Goldfinches, Red-headed Woodpeckers, a few Black-capped Chickadees and Blue Jays, and of course, lots of Robins all add colour. All this happens in a lush green belt that runs through the northern suburbs of Chicago, where walkers, runners, skaters, cyclists, and horse riders enjoy the trails and picnickers feast and play in the groves. Thank you,
volunteers, for all your efforts!