Category Archives: photography

The Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge stretches for 261 river miles from Cordova, Illinois to the mouth of Wisconsin’s Chippewa River. Dozens of bird species can be spotted at the Refuge, especially during migratory season. Perhaps most … Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

Mutinus elegans (Montagne) E. Fischer Usually at least partially submerged in the ground; appearing like a whitish to pinkish or purplish “egg” up to 4 cm high; when sliced, revealing the stinkhorn-to-be encased in a gelatinous substance. Mutinus. Inspired by … Continue reading

On the very the southern tip of Illinois, in the Cache River State Natural Area, you’ll find Little Black Slough Nature Preserve. Well known for its cypress-tupelo swamp, Little Black Slough has floodplain forests, upland woods and small patches of … Continue reading

Morganella pyriformis (Schaeffer) Kreisel & D. Kruger The habitat on wood and the abundant white rhizomorphs make this puffball easy to identify. Morganella versus Lycoperdon. It’s the mycologist’s version of pepperoni or sausage, Godzilla or Mechagodzilla, Tastes Great or Less Filling. A … Continue reading