The Grassy Slough Preserve in the Cache River Wetlands is in full bloom with water cannas and ironweed, sumac berries ripen and add a touch of mahogany red to the spectrum of color and bald eagle chicks leave their nests.
Yellow indigo, tall coreopsis, purple prairie clover, wild bergamot and wild quinine bloom at the Kankakee Sands Preserve.
The grooved yellow flax flower blooms at the Nachusa Grasslands Preserve.
Aphrodite and regal fritillary butterflies and sage wrens are found in abundance at the Indian Boundary Prairies Preserve, along with mid-summer prairie plants such as phlox, quinine and prairie coreopsis.
Nocturnal calls of American bitterns can be heard from the overlook along the LaGrange Locks Road at the Spunky Bottoms Preserve, while American lotus is in full bloom.
Early shorebird migration is beginning at Emiquon with broods of ruddy ducks.
The globally rare wet, mesic and dry dolomite prairies at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie are in full bloom with a variety of grasses and forbs, including blue-joint grass, prairie cord grass, swamp milkweed, leafy prairie clover and hairy false mallow.
Hues of purple brighten up the Mackinaw River with blooms of butterfly milkweed, purple prairie clover and tall pale purple coneflowers.
May 29, 2012