Category Archives: natural history

On November 8, 1810, the first recorded load of Illinois coal reached the market in New Orleans. The event may sound ordinary, but it represented a significant pivot in state history. Coal would go on to become an important business, … Continue reading

This weekend, citizens in Olney will begin the annual census of the town’s famous albino squirrel population, to see just how the white varmints have fared over the past year. White squirrels have a presence in Olney. They appear on … Continue reading

Banu Subramaniam is the winner of the 2016 Ludwik Fleck prize for her book Ghost Stories for Darwin: The Science of Variation and the Politics of Diversity. The Fleck Prize is the oldest 4S book prize awarded to an outstanding book … Continue reading

Until climate change renders snowball fights the exclusive preserve of those able to climb K2, May will remain the most welcome of months, for have mercy, it is spring. Natural history, now observable without misery, returns to the forefront of our … Continue reading

Volvariella bombycina (Schaeffer) Singer [The cap is] oval at first, becoming bell-shaped to broadly complex or nearly flat; whitish or tinged yellowing to brownish in age; the margin not lined; dry; covered with silky hairs. Volvariella bombycina sounds like a nickname … 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