Looking Up

By Mary Beth Pottratz A barn swallow chitters and squeaks, leading me to its mud and straw nest under the eaves. I look up, and two tiny nestlings poke their heads over the edge. Barn swallows used to nest only in cliffs and trees, but have in recent times evolved to almost exclusively nesting in…

Butterflies

By Boak Wiesner Now that most bird species have quit singing and many have headed out for the south, my attention shifts to the other diurnal winged tribe, the butterflies. With several habitats within close proximity to each other at the Arb, a wide variety can usually be seen on any given day. A pair…

Summer Advances With Speed of a Plow

By Greg Lecker A visit to Spring Peeper Meadow is a trip back to a landscape before the John Deere moldboard plow transformed Midwest America’s prairies into the most productive farmlands. Better than earlier wrought iron blades, smooth steel shed the prairie’s rich but mucky fertile soil. The plow’s success speedily led to the loss…

Colors of August

By Mary Beth Pottratz White, yellow and purple set the theme for August flowers against a backdrop of lush greenery on this warm, sunny day. The sunny yellow flowers of compass plant tower tall above the rest of the prairie. Single purple spikes of prairie blazing star point upwards. Small sticks of purple and white…