Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

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July 30, 2014
Hillside Haven

To the untrained eye the natural landscape encircling Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo may seem unplanned, its profusion of prairie plants randomly dispersed.

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November 27, 2012
Ice Work if You Can Get It

If you’ve recently strolled around Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, you may have noticed its icy disposition. Specifically, oddly configured, jagged chunks of ice positioned near plantings surrounding the South Pond.

November 9, 2012
Painted Turtle Relocation and Monitoring at Nature Boardwalk

Its radio transmitter visible, a painted turtle swims in the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

November 1, 2012
Joining the “Dark Side”

Have you ever seen a black squirrel around Chicago? This squirrel, photographed by one our motion-triggered cameras, is not a rare species but rather an eastern gray squirrel with melanism.

September 26, 2012
Plant of the Week: Bottle Gentian

The introverted bottle gentian is all hue and no cry. This perennial, currently in brief bloom, displays richly violet, bottle-shaped flowers that never open. The corolla (petals) remains closed even when the flower is ready to receive pollinating insects.

September 11, 2012
Plant of the Week: Yellow Giant Hyssop

The yellow giant hyssop brandishes dense, cylindrical flower spikes that resemble a miniature choir of cacti. The spikes emerge atop stout, square, branching stems and measure 4 to 16 inches long, depending on the size and maturity of the plant.

September 7, 2012
Web Masters

Spiders are incredibly diverse, with around 40,000 different species worldwide. Some spiders roam across the ground actively hunting for prey, while others construct complex webs to capture anything unfortunate enough to fly, jump or fall into them.

Researchers at the Urban Wildlife Institute often encounter spiders in the grass or on trees at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

August 31, 2012
Plant of the Week: Little Bluestem

This attractive prairie grass is a tussock, or bunch, grass: it grows as a singular plant in clumps, tufts or bunches. It displays blue and silver-tinted stems and leaves in the spring that turn to lovely shades of wine-red in fall.

August 20, 2012
Plant of the Week: Blue Vervain

Rising from the ground up to 5 feet, this slender perennial of the mint family resembles an Indian mystic’s rope trick, with erect cord-like stems that delicately sway in the breeze. Blue vervain’s green or red stems are actually squarish and four-angled, terminating in flowering spikes. The spikes are densely crowded with scentless, reddish-blue or violet flowers.

August 8, 2012
Plant of the Week: Rattlesnake Master

Its common name sounds like an ominous villain in a western. But this odd member of the carrot family—sporting yucca-like leaves and prickly balls of flowers—is simply a tall wildflower prairie species with a unique appearance and colorful past.

July 27, 2012
Solitary Wasps Making a Home at Nature Boardwalk

A close look at the solitary wasp spotted at Nature Boardwalk.

These past few weeks biologists at the Urban Wildlife Institute have been seeing large sphecid wasps (of the Sphecidae family) buzzing around Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

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