Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) butterfly on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) at Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia. The Dolly Sods Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia and part of the Monongahela National Forest. The Nature Conservancy has acquired and protected thousands of acres in the Monongahela forest. The northeast end of the Federal land at Dolly Sods is bordered by the Bear Rocks Nature Preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy.  Dolly Sods and Bear Rocks Preserve are adjoining areas of incomparable beauty that are comprised of high plateaus above 4000 ft. and steep-walled stream valleys. The area was originally covered with a thick spruce forest but was aggressively logged in the early 20th century. Today the area is dominated by broad plains covered with heath and grasses, with many bogs. Hardwoods dominate the lower elevations but the spruce forest is coming back at higher elevations.
WOPA100518_D002 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) butterfly on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) at Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia. The Dolly Sods Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia and part of the Monongahela National Forest. The Nature Conservancy has acquired and protected thousands of acres in the Monongahela forest. The northeast end of the Federal land at Dolly Sods is bordered by the Bear Rocks Nature Preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy. Dolly Sods and Bear Rocks Preserve are adjoining areas of incomparable beauty that are comprised of high plateaus above 4000 ft. and steep-walled stream valleys. The area was originally covered with a thick spruce forest but was aggressively logged in the early 20th century. Today the area is dominated by broad plains covered with heath and grasses, with many bogs. Hardwoods dominate the lower elevations but the spruce forest is coming back at higher elevations. © © Kent Mason

Stories in Illinois

Illinois Nature Notes

Find out which plants and wildlife you can spot this month!

The Cache River Wetlands are 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 Nachusa Grasslands.  

Wild Bergamot blooms on Dunn Ranch Prairie.
Wild Bergamot Wild bergamot © Hilary Haley

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.

American Bittern
American Bittern stalks its prey. American Bittern © Cuatrok77/Flickr

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