Among the pink and white flowers of swamp rose and lizard’s tail and the gold and brown hues of chanterelle at the Grassy Slough Preserve in the Cache River Wetlands, box and snapping turtles are laying eggs, nighthawks and bird-voiced tree frogs are calling, oriole chicks are hatching and barn swallows are fledging their nests.
Wrens and sparrows are in full song defending their territories at the Spunky Bottoms Preserve, while wood duck broods begin to appear.
At Emiquon, black-necked stilts are nesting, coot and pie-billed grebe broods begin to arrive and terns are migrating through early in the month.
The endangered Henslow's sparrow can be seen at Indian Boundary Prairies.
Lavender hues of bird's foot violets, bright orange blooms of butterfly weed, delicate white petals of New Jersey tea, blue-violet flowers of wild lupine and soft pink blooms of beardtongue decorate the Kankakee Sands Preserve.
The prairies at Nachusa Grasslands are blooming, and three-foot tall pale purple coneflowers can be found among them.
State-endangered upland sandpipers, bobolinks, state-threatened loggerhead shrikes and large numbers of dickcissels return to the large grasslands at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.May 29, 2012