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Our mission focuses on protecting, conserving, enhancing and promoting Will County's natural heritage, and when it comes to promoting all of the incredible things the preserves have to offer, there's no better way to do it than with photos.
Whether it's through our website, The Citizen newsletter, or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, pictures are a powerful way to tell the stories within the nearly 22,000 acres of land either owned or managed by the District.
From wet raccoons to colorful flowers and a pod of pelicans, there was plenty to see in 2017.
Take a look at some of our favorites.
We often get a look of surprise or questions doubting they can be seen in Will County, but each year, these amazing birds with a wingspan that can stretch more than 9 feet make a pit stop in the area.
They usually arrive at the end of September or early October and can be seen in huge numbers around McKinley Woods in Channahon.
At a quick glance, you might think this butterfly at Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve is a monarch, but it's not. In fact, it's a viceroy and we know that because of the black line crossing the postmedian hindwing.
There are 39 native species of trillium in the U.S. and, in the early 20th century, it was believed a tonic derived from its root could help control bleeding and diarrhea.
Raccoon at Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve
This one apparently had just gone for a swim.
The preserves can be filled with fascinating fungus in the fall, and this one is a real treat to find.
In its prime, this fungus that also is called leafy brain, has gelatinous fruit bodies.
Halloween Pennant Dragonfly
On a late November day at Lake Renwick Preserve in Plainfield, this sumac surely provided some much-needed color.
Here's a fun fact about these birds, which can be seen at Lake Renwick Preserve: When flushed off the nest, a female often defecates on its eggs to deter predators.
These birds use their big beaks and tongues to crush seeds and extract the nut.
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Look closely, and you'll see some incredible detail on the wing.
Did you know that they can fly close to 50 miles per hour?
How do you tell an adult male from an adult female? As they mature, males develop broad white spots on their wings.
Tuck this away in your wildlife trivia file: Not only are they awkward and clumsy fliers, but males will aggressively defend their nesting territories by attacking with their feet.
(Photos by Glenn P. Knoblock)
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