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Rose Mallow: Our River Flower
September 21, 2017

The mallow family is quite extensive in the tropics, with fewer species as one proceeds poleward. The domestics probably most familiar to you are cotton, okra, althea, hollyhock, and assorted garden hibiscus. In our part of the upper Midwest, there are two native species, which look similar: Smooth rose mallow, Hibiscus laevis (aka H. 

Connecting with Nature at Family Day
September 18, 2017

Just over a week ago, Bur Oak Land Trust held its fall Family Day at Belgum Grove, one of the trust’s open to the public lands just four miles west of Hills. The weather was ideal for families to come out and explore the property and participate in activities – and it just happened to coincide this year with Grandparents Day. 

Vanessa Invasion
September 14, 2017

If you’ve set foot outside in the past couple of weeks and found yourself in the vicinity of any flowers, you have probably noticed an abundance of medium-sized, orange and black-colored butterflies swarming sedums, goldenrod, asters, and just about any other flower they can find. 

Record Rainfall
September 7, 2017

Two decades ago I was still teaching Engineering Geology, with several weeks of lecture, lab, and field trips devoted to dams and floods. The two themes were packaged together because heavy rainfall is a frequent driver of dam failure when design is marginal; and failure of dams, both natural and manufactured, have produced some notable floods.