1. Spring Buds -close up and personal

    April 23, 2011 by MAX

    What beauty when viewed from so close in!

    A woodland native of Chicagoland forests, lowlands

    Beauty in the Bluebell bud about to open

    note the ant-pollinaor

    caught in the act- see the ant?

    Will develop a fruit

    the mayapple w/ blossom -about to unfurl

    Troutlily multiply creating lg. masses of speckled leaves

    once thought to be a cure-all for many illnesses

    Liverwort, rather uncommon, found on slopes, woodlands

    All the trilliums are fantastic to watch as they emerge

  2. Certified Arborist (as of April 2011)

    April 18, 2011 by MAX

    Wow, it’s done! I successfully passed my exam (of 200 +) questions to become a certified Arborist, and a member of the International Arborist Society.

    1st thing on the agenda- addressing this EAB problem (Ash Borer)

    We’ll be applying ‘Safari’ this spring (to trunk of trees), so IF you have ash on your property, and IF you want to keep them, please contact us, and we can get them protected! 630 209 3005    Treatments begin in May thru June 30th.



  3. Perennial division time

    by MAX

    Now is the opportune time to lift and split overgrown perennials and native wildflowers such as the Mayapple shown -while they are just sprouting and it’s still cool. All you need is a strong back, and a very sharp spade!

    Found in a woodland garden in Hinsdale

    Mayapple (podophyllum)



  4. what’s in bloom: Dutchman’s Breetches (Dicentra)

    April 12, 2011 by MAX

    So delicate of leaf,  most curious of blossom (hence the name),  early to appear, just as quick to vanish!  Related to the bleeding heart, though this gorgeous spring ephemeral is native.  Will multiply in rich soils and shade gardens.                                                      Another increasingly-uncommon species in most of our degraded forests.

    found in Glen Ellyn garden



  5. what’s in bloom: Bloodroot (Sanguineria)

    April 10, 2011 by MAX

    April 8, 2011:  A true native of our Midwestern woodlands, and a gem of a wildflower!    Not the most common of natives either. The blooms last for only a few days, later followed by a beautiful leaf. Said to contain medicinal qualities.  Will multiply, seed spread by insects. Blood- like sap often used by early Americans as dyes and more.



  6. Ancients of Illinois

    by MAX

    That’s right! Who’d believe it, eh? In  S. Illinois no less.  Bald Cypress swamps  (Taxodium distictum), where these 1400-2000 year old  giants live. One of the most northerly, naturally – occuring cypress swamps in the US.   Trunk seen here  has an  approx. dia of 15 – 16 ft.! Whoa!


    OLD bald cypress of the Cache River system


  7. Viper madness

    April 5, 2011 by MAX

    Not too stray too far from the usual – for all you snake loving sorts out there (and Chris D too), this little (angry) fellow was less than a meter away  from me on a S. Ill. trail near La-Rue Pine Hills. Cool huh? Had to piss him off a little for this smile  🙂

    Toxic teeth


  8. First signs of spring! Aconites

    April 3, 2011 by MAX

    The small Winter Aconite is a welcome sight after the snow retreats, one of the first to appear , blooming for about 2 weeks. Dig and move about while blooming.

    naturalizes freely,

    first to appear in early March near Chicago