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The Buzz

All Buzz Articles

Creature Feature: The Ubiquitous Garter Snake

The garter snake is the most common snake in the United States, living from coast to coast. But these snakes are still interesting creatures, despite being ubiquitous. 

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Things We Love: The Surprising Six-Lined Racerunner

Sometimes, the things we come to love are the things that surprise us. Learning the six-lined racerunner lives in Will County is what made interpretive naturalist Erin Ward fall in love with them.

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Nature Curiosity: Where Does Fog Come From?

You woke up to a blanket of fog covering the neighborhood, but where did it come from? 

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Things We Love: Those Magical Mayapples

The blooms of spring wildflowers can be fleeting, and that's certainly true of the mayapple. But what makes this plant all the more special is that its flowers hide under umbrella-like leaves, making them even harder to catch a glimpse of. 

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Quiz: Are You Smart About Blue-Spotted Salamanders?

Test your knowledge with this 10-question quiz.

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What You Need to Know About Those Invasive and Destructive Gypsy Moths

Not all moths and butterflies should be treasured. Some, like the gypsy moth, are invasive and are harming local habitats. 

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Things We Love: Those Rascally Raccoons

Raccoons have a well-earned reputation for being trash bandits, but they deserve our respect too. 

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Things We Love: The Aptly Named Bloodroot

Spring wildflowers are beautiful but fleeting. Keep your eyes trained to the ground when out for a walk to see if you can spot bloodroot, a fascinating ephemeral. 

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Myth Buster: Lightning Can Strike The Same Place Twice

Lightning can — and will — strike the same place twice, so always head indoors when thunder roars. 

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Things We Love: Those Fiercely Protective Crappies

Spring is spawning season for crappies, which offers an opportunity to get a good look at these fish. 

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Creature Feature: The Secretive Blue-Spotted Salamander

Have you ever seen a blue-spotted salamander? Most people haven't, but they do live in Will County. Finding one is a matter of knowing where to look. 

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What's The Difference?: Fox Snake vs. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

Is that snake you saw a dangerous eastern massasauga rattlesnake or a nonvenomous fox snake? If you saw it in Will County, it was a fox snake. The massasauga does not live in Will County. In fact, no venomous snakes do.

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Invasion Of The Jumping Worms: They're A Big Threat To Soil Quality

Invasion of the jumping worms isn't the next box-office thriller. These invasive worms are becoming widespread in Illinois, destroying the soil quality wherever they are. 

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Things We Love: Those Lovely Lichens

Lichens are little known and not well understood, but they deserve our appreciation.

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Things We Love: Those Sneaky Salamanders

When it comes to salamanders, a big part of the thrill is the hunt.

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Current Headlines

State Issues Algae Bloom Warning for Lake and River Recreation


Conditions are ripe for the growth of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, in the state's lakes and rivers. So, the state is warning those who participate in water recreation to take precautions for themselves and their pets to avoid exposure.  

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Nosh in Nature This Summer with the Return of 'Food Truck Fridays'


The family-friendly food truck program rotates between four preserves from June through August. In addition to grabbing a bite to eat and a dessert, attendees can participate in fun activities and relax on the grass to socialize. 

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