Naturalists Afield

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Enjoy this collection of natural history stories, images, and videos captured by Illinois Natural History Survey scientists while visiting natural areas around the state.

blog posts

  • Spring-breeding true frogs in Illinois

  • Spring-breeding tree frogs in Illinois

  • Mole salamanders in Illinois

  • Tracks in the Snow: Part 2

  • Tracks in the Snow: Part 1

  • Woodpeckers in Illinois

  • Butterflies in Winter

  • Butterflies on the wing in November

  • Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom

  • Waterfowl in Illinois: Part 1

  • Owls in Illinois

  • Prairie grasses in Illinois

    A prairie is a largely treeless grassland dominated by grasses and forbs (herbaceous flowering plants). Prairies were once widespread in Illinois, but are now relegated to only a few thousand acres scattered across the state. Even though vanishingly rare, prairie is often very diverse, with upwards of 500 species of plants. Here are some of the grass species that can be found in Illinois prairies.