Category Archives: Illinois / regional

Ayers Sand Prairie in Carroll County was once the western edge of the Wisconsin Glacier. Among the small dunes explorers can spy plants and animals friendly to the dry growing conditions such as the birds-foot violet and the Olympia marble … Continue reading

The middle fork of the Vermilion River runs through Kickapoo State Park. Just a short walk from Middle Fork Woods Nature Preserve, explorers will find forest-lined bluffs and a a multitude of creatures.  Large dragonflies patrol the banks along the … Continue reading

The AIA Guide to Chicago is the premier guidebook for exploring the architectural treasures of a city known for an urban landscape of art and innovation. It’s not only the iconic designs of Burnham, van der Rohe or Wright that … Continue reading

Henry N. Barkhausen Wetlands Center is the perfect starting point for exploring the Cache River ecosystem. From the visitor center window one can spy muskrat, river otter hummingbirds and various other creatures that thrive in the restored wetlands. But there … Continue reading

Now that former Illinois Governor George Ryan is officially a free man, the Land of Lincoln has only a single former Chief Executive in prison. In their book Fixing Illinois: Politics and Policy in the Prairie State, authors James D. … Continue reading

Matthiessen State Park in LaSalle County is a feast for the eyes in all seasons. With greenery and wildflowers in the spring and summer, colorful foliage in the fall, and the arresting sight of icefalls in the winter, there is … Continue reading

At the risk of summoning Rod Blagojevich in a cloud of fire, brimstone, and cheap aftershave, our blog belatedly marks the third anniversary (June 27, 2011) of the former Illinois governor being found guilty of 17 charges. Blagojevich got his … Continue reading

Flammulina velutipes (Curtis) Singer Edible, but tough. Despite appearances, the commercially produced “enoki” mushroom found in many grocery stores is a cultivated form of this mushroom. One of the best-known and most-produced mushrooms in the world, Flammulina velutipes has a … Continue reading

Michael Agnew has been visiting media outlets and brewpubs throught the Midwest to discuss his book A Perfect Pint’s Beer Guide to the Heartland. Recently the author visited KARE 11 TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. On the KARE 11 News Agnew discussed … Continue reading

The Ballard Nature Center is a glimpse into what Illinois was like before the landscape gave way to cultivation for corn and soybeans. Located between Altamont and Effingham, just off old Route 40, Ballard Nature Center is a remarkable prairie … Continue reading