Posts By: Stephanie

Standing for Science in Your Yard

Posted by & filed under Bees, Biodiversity, Bird gardens, Butterflies, Butterfly Garden, Maintenance, Native Plants, Pollinators, Uncategorized.

West Cook Wild Ones loves science– scientists explain the world to us and impact many parts of our lives. One of these areas is our own yards or landscapes we work or live in.  Science is beginning to tell us that even if we are in an urban area, our yards are incredibly important, providing… Read more »

Recap of The Amphibians of Chicago by Joey Cavataio

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Speakers.

Recap of The Amphibians of Chicago presented by Joey Cavataio Joey Cavataio condensed many years of experience and research into a beautifully presented talk for us on Feb 25.  Along with the lovely images of our area’s amphibians, another welcome sight was the many middle-schoolers who were attending for an extra credit assignment from their… Read more »

Citizen Science Projects

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community, Speakers.

Our June 25, 2017 program featuring Dr. Emily Minor (UIC Urban Ecologist) focused on the many citizen science projects available.  These are projects that include data/observations made by laypeople and can be used for research by scientists.     Citizen science may sound difficult, but it is really as easy as looking out your window… Read more »

Indoor Seed Starting

Posted by & filed under Seeds, Starting a garden.

Indoor seed starting gives you a jump on the growing season. If you wintersowed your flats outside, and they’ve had enough time outside, you can simply bring them and start the germination process indoors.  Or, if you stratified your seeds in your fridge via a medium or paper towel method, you can then sow the… Read more »

2017 Gift Ideas for the Native Plant Gardener

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

We thought we’d compile a handy list for the nature lover on your list. Don’t forget the possibility of a gift membership to West Cook Wild Ones. 🙂 Books: Mike MacDonald’s My Journey Into the Wilds of Chicago  Heather Holm: Bee Identification and Forage and Pollinators of Native Plants Charlotte Adelman and Bernard Schwarz’s new book… Read more »

West Cook Wild Ones 2017 Accomplishments

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

West Cook Wild Ones 2017 Accomplishments We are grateful for all of the joyful energy of our members, volunteers, and supporters over this past year. Thanks to all of you 2017 was a year of action for us. Next year will be even better.  Embracing senescence It’s hard to believe it’s almost time to say… Read more »

Sprezzatura in the Fall Garden

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Fall clean up, Maintenance, Uncategorized.

Rembrandt, an Old Master who used earth tones to offset golden light, used a technique he termed sprezzatura, meaning apparent carelessness. In the spirit of artistic and environmental sensibilities, let us native gardeners unite under this term.  Allowing the gardens to stand during fall and winter, we might appear careless about the gardens, but instead… Read more »

Resources to Learn about Harvesting Milkweed Seeds

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Butterflies, Native Plants, Seeds.

Resources to Learn about Harvesting Milkweed Seeds This post provides links to articles that help us with learning about harvesting and sharing milkweed seeds. Many of the tips and tricks are applicable to other types of seeds.   If you’ve grown milkweed, your plant is probably developing pods.  Rose Milkweed (Ascelpias incarnata) might have already… Read more »

What’s in a Leaf Pile, Or Why Not to Do Fall Clean-up

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Clean up, Fall clean up, Maintenance.

What’s in a Leaf Pile? A lot of potential for life is in a leaf pile. Many beneficial (and beautiful) insect overwinter in our yards. For instance, the Katydid (important food source for birds during late summer) and Preying Mantis overwinter as eggs attached to twigs, stems, and/or leaves. Ladybugs and Lacewings also spend the… Read more »