The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

The Buzz

This Big Fungus Find Comes in Very Small Package





(Photo by Chad Merda)

Fungi can come in all shapes, colors and sizes, and while the big ones across the forest floor can be amazing to see, it's the teenie-tiny ones that can truly take your breath away.

That's exactly what happened when we stumbled upon an incredible find in the form of bird's nest fungus at Sugar Creek Preserve on Tuesday. 

"They are both peculiar and fascinating," said Juanita Armstrong-Ullberg, natural resources land manager for the Forest Preserve District. "The fun cup-like nests are so tiny, I almost did not see them. But when I bent down to get a closer look, I saw these little bird-like nests filled with 'eggs.'"

This fungus clearly is a tiny wonder.

A ruler helps put it all in perspective:

(Photo by Chad Merda)

The cup, or bird's nest in this case, is the fruiting body of the plant and the "eggs" are filled with spores.

The nest plays a crucial role in dispersing the spores. The force of raindrops falling into what's commonly referred to as a splash cup can shoot the eggs into the air with great force, dispersing them as far as four feet away from the nest.  

Spores are then released from the eggs and eventually more fruiting bodies are produced.

This fungus is yet another example of why it's best to slow down and take in what you're seeing on the trails. Otherwise, you could miss some incredible sights right under your feet.

Think Twice Before Your Next Sip and Skip the Straw Instead

2/19/2019

Next time you order a drink from a restaurant, think twice before you unwrap the straw. Americans use millions of straws a day, and many of them end up as litter, eventually making their way into ours lakes and rivers. National Skip the Straw Day, held every February, aims to change that. 

Read More


Creature Feature: The Wacky Woodcock

2/19/2019

The American woodcock is related to the sandpiper, but you wouldn't know it based on its behavior. Woodcocks are known for their unusual antics, including elaborate and sometimes noisy "sky dances" and a weird walk to help them find food.

Read More


Skip the Stink: How to Keep Stink Bugs at Bay

2/15/2019

Winter is stink bug season, at least indoors. If you are finding these bugs around your house, don't squish them or step on them unless you're prepared for their noxious odor. Instead, your best bet is to prevent them from getting inside your house in the first place.

Read More


The Citizen Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates