CliffNotes

Total Lunar Eclipse: What to Expect

January 19, 2019 clifftop CliffNotes

Written for Clifftop by Mike Krawczynski, assistant professor of planetary science at Washington University in St. Louis. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of humans walking on the Moon for the first time.  And as of January 3rd 2019, humans have now landed on the far side of the Moon.  Our celestial companion, the Moon, still […]

More

History of the Beloved Christmas Tree

December 22, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

Real or artificial, tiny or tall, inside or outside, in homes, schools, stores or churches -they are everywhere we turn. What is the origin of the Christmas tree? Evergreens have been utilized to celebrate winter festivals both Christian and pagan for years. Just as we decorate our homes for the holidays with pine, spruce and […]

More

Southern Illinois’ Woodlands Have Plenty of Room for Mushrooms

November 3, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

A favorite quarry of some hunters in southern Illinois is not a deer or turkey, but morel mushrooms.  Most people are quite familiar with morels—that golden hued, sponge shaped delicacy.  Mushroom hunters have their favorite woodland spots for hunting them for they know that mushrooms and trees go together in multiple ways.  Mushrooms grow on […]

More

Saving Nature in Illinois, The Rewards of Persistence

October 6, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

By William McClain, Illinois Nature Preserves Commissioner In the year 1805, federal land surveyors travelled to White County to begin dividing the Illinois Territory into townships in preparation for land sales expected in the next few years.  They carried surveying tools and camping gear, but one of their most important possessions was a set of […]

More

The Vital Role of Bees in Pollination

September 9, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

By Michele Schutzenhofer, Associate Professor of Biology, McKendree University and Gerardo Camilo, Professor of Biology, Saint Louis University. Worldwide, many pollinators are in decline, which means that our food supply can be at risk. It is estimated that pollinators are responsible for approximately one-third of global crop production. While pollinators include highly charismatic groups like […]

More

Just in Time

August 6, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

By Todd Strole, Natural Areas Stewardship Program Manager for IDNR’s Division of Natural Heritage Sinking streams, swallow holes, blind valleys, karst springs, slumps, sinkhole ponds, and sinkholes are likely terms you rarely hear in the Prairie State, unless you are in the sinkhole plain Natural Division of Southwestern Illinois.  These geologic features formed in limestone […]

More

Pteridophytes Are Our Friendly Neighborhood Ferns

July 25, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

Are you a lover of Pteridophytes?  Do you even notice them when you are out of doors?   There are about 11,000 Pteridophytes in the world and about 100 in the North Eastern and Central US.  They are the fern and fern allies.  Ferns and their allies, the horsetails and clubmosses, occur everywhere except in the […]

More

Plans Moving Forward at Clifftop’s Paul Wightman Subterranean Nature Preserve

July 25, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

The 535 acre Paul Wightman Subterranean Nature Preserve (PWSNP) on the sinkhole plain in rural Fults was acquired in late 2013 and established in 2014 by Clifftop, this region’s ALL VOLUNTEER conservation not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and conservation of high quality native Ozark habitats in the bluff lands and karst sinkhole plain […]

More

The White Oak and the Oak-Hickory Forest of Monroe County

July 25, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

By Mark Brown, IDNR District Forester Since the last glaciers receded over 10,000 years ago, the landscape of Illinois has been dominated by a patchwork of tall grass prairie and hardwood forest.  Wildfire, touched off by lightning strikes and indigenous peoples, helped to form the landscape.  Periodic fires would prevent woody plant species from encroaching […]

More

“Just Say No” to Bradford Pear

July 25, 2018 clifftop CliffNotes

Soon you will observe suburban yards dotted with and long driveways lined with densely flowered and branched Bradford pear trees.  They create a breathtaking, yet malodorous, show each spring.  Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana), of which Bradford pear is a cultivar, was introduced to the United States from China in the early 1900s, with the hope […]

More

« Previous Posts Next posts »

Powered by WordPress and NatureFox.