Endangered Beauty by Carol Freeman
Nov. 4 – Jan. 14
Lost Valley Visitor Center—Glacial Park
Artist Reception & Refreshments: Sunday, November 5, 1–3 p.m.
Carol Freeman will share information about the fascinating photographs and answer questions about her project. Items will also be available for purchase during the reception.
Award-winning photographer Carol Freeman spent three summers tracking down the federally and state-endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly. “There’s only one little place where you can find this species in Illinois and I was not about to walk off trail to find it,” she said. Instead, she walked slowly or stood patiently on the only trail, hoping to glimpse the hovering wings of this rare and beautiful insect. One day a Hine’s emerald landed on a cattail after catching a meal, affording her the chance to capture its beauty with her camera.
That photograph and those of many other Illinois threatened and endangered species are part of an amazing, unique and breathtaking exhibit, called Endangered Beauty.
In 2003, Freeman set out to capture some of the 483 threatened and endangered species on camera — and it became the ultimate labor of love as she photographed everything from rare, obscure, quarter-inch insects to sedges that all seem to look alike to the delicate and beautiful orange-fringed orchid to giant trees. “It’s just amazing that there’s still this much diversity in the state,” Freeman said. “I photographed mussels, turtles, snakes, wolves, birds, plants, butterflies, dragonflies and fish – and each has its own beauty.” Some of the photographed species in the exhibit include the swamp metalmark butterfly, short-eared owl, Kirtland’s snake and purple wartyback mussel.
Freeman said she is grateful for all the state’s scientists and natural area volunteers who helped her with her project. “I love all the experiences and adventures and all the stories people tell me of caring for the land in our state,” she said. “I didn’t go to the zoo to photograph these species. For the most part, I went to their natural habitats to photograph them, and often scientists accompanied me to help me find them. I could not have done this project without the help of all those who are working to save these species from extinction.”
“Every species I’ve photographed has a story,” she said, adding her hope is those who view the exhibit will be compelled to help save Illinois’ endangered beauty.
Harvest Gathering of 1858
Sunday, November 5, Noon–4:00 p.m.
Powers-Walker House, Glacial Park
No registration required. Drop in during the open hours.
Step back in time to the 1850’s at harvest time. Try your hand at corn shelling, grinding corn into flour, or making a corn husk or yarn doll. Witness harvest activities like the baking of bread in the wood-burning cookstove and grinding herbs for winter use. Tour the historic farmhouse to learn more about its restoration, or visit with a Cavalry sergeant and his horse as they demonstrate the weapons of the era used to protect these frontier lands.
Christmas Tree Recycling
Dec. 26 –Jan. 15
• Glacial Park, Ringwood (off Harts Rd. & Route 31)
• Rush Creek, Harvard (at twin oaks parking area—west of pond)
• Algonquin Twshp Headquarters (3702 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake)
Tinsel and decorations must be removed. If trees are transported in a bag, please remove the bag. Commercial drop-offs are prohibited. Trees are processed into mulch, which will be available free of charge at a later date. For details call (815) 338-6223.
Seize the Day
The snow has fallen and it’s time to drop everything and enjoy it! Sign up to receive an e-mail or phone call that will let you know when and where we will be in the next 24 hours to enjoy the SNOW!!
Will it be…a Cross-Country Ski Lesson at Prairieview? …a Snowshoe Hike at Pleasant Valley?…Night Sledding at Glacial Park?
Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that there’s no snow when snow programs are planned, but then plenty of snow when they aren’t? We have, too! In December, January & February staff members will be on call to offer a program or activity when we get that perfect snow. We’ll send a message 24 hours in advance with an invitation to join us when conditions are right! Sound good? Call (815) 479-5779; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ HIKE or SKI ~ Solar Lit trails
Nov. 5 – March 11, Trails close at 9 p.m.
(Trail etiquette: When there is snow, hikers are asked to walk on the outside of the ski tracks.)
Pleasant Valley, 13315 Pleasant Valley Rd., Woodstock
This half-mile looped trail located on the east side of the entrance drive is fairly flat terrain, perfect for beginners or shorter outings. Park in the first parking area and sign in.
Hickory Grove Highlands (Note: Closed Nov. 3–5 & Nov. 10–12), 500 Hickory Nut Grove Lane, Cary
The 1.25 mile looped trail travels through a restored savanna, offering a longer scenic route suitable for intermediate skiers. Visitors should sign in at the trail head.
Cross-Country Candlelight Ski
Both Friday and Saturday evenings from 5–9 p.m.
Don’t miss your chance to cross-country ski on trails lit only by candlelight! Skiers of every experience level and age are welcome, but you must bring your own equipment. Gather around the campfire for refreshments after your time out on the trail. Trails will be groomed for skiing if there is 4” of snow or more.
While pets are not allowed at this event, we invite you to hike or ski with your pets on our solar lit trails, November 5, 2017-March 11, 2018, see details above.
Not enough snow? Leave the skis at home and enjoy a candlelight hike, some hot refreshments around a campfire and the allure of the winter woods. Note: Check Before You Go, cancellations may occur due to weather (if trails are icy/hazardous or the wind chill drops below -20˚) or staff emergencies. Check under Site Advisories on the front page.
December 1–March 31
Thomas Woods in Marengo Ridge, Marengo
Take in the sights and sounds of the quiet, peaceful winter woods and sleep under crisp, star-filled skies. Hike the trails, follow animal tracks, bring your cross country skis or snowshoes and then stoke the campfire as you enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Reservations are made online with a credit card for your group or exclusive use of the campground; accommodations for 1–100.
Fees: $55 Residents / $90 Non-Residents. Note: when reserving online, reserve the Marengo Ridge Group Campground; Camping will actually be in the Thomas Woods area.
— Geo-Series: ongoing —
This GeoSeries is specifically designed to turn your next staycation, day trip or geocaching expedition into an extraordinary adventure. Cache Your Way Across McHenry County GeoSeries highlights 15 of the best District spots where gamers will be led along unique trails, under bridges, to historic sites, or in the middle of a majestic oak woodland. At each stop, cachers will be introduced to a variety of interesting facts, fun tidbits, stories, quizzes and a question to answer in your GeoSeries Passport. Those who complete all 15 caches will earn the District’s newest geocoin. A couple of the caches have travel bugs. Please move these bugs along and do not keep them; you will get your own to keep when you successfully complete the tour! Once you complete all the caches, bring your passport to one of our visitor centers to claim a coin; or e-mail a copy to email@example.com
Download passport and program information.
— Challenge 2017: Aug. 1–Nov. 30 —
Complete your 2017 challenge sheet and claim your 2017 GeoCoin. This year’s theme is bats. All caches are live on geocaching.com. This is a separate program from GeoSeries. There will only be a limited number of coins—first come first served; one coin per household.
Lost Valley Nature Detectives — self-guided explorations
It’s a beautiful day for hiking, bird watching, and wildlife tracking! Start your adventures at Lost Valley Visitor Center where each month a new topic is featured. Indoor displays and activities will get you ready for an outdoor exploration.
Check out the free exploration backpack to borrow binoculars and field guides and grab a scavenger hunt to help you search the wild spaces of Glacial Park.
Week day or weekend, morning or afternoon, come any time the Visitor Center is open!
Monthly Exploration Topics:
November — Wild Turkeys
View a turkey mount and listen to its call before heading out to look for wild turkeys that live near the visitor center. Play a turkey feeding game and make a turkey-themed craft too!
December — Winter Survival
Learn different ways animals survive the winter. Play a puppet sorting game, take a winter fur test, and watch for birds at the feeders. Take a short hike and look for signs of animals still out in the cold. Come back inside to build your very own beaver lodge!
January — Animal Tracks
Inside, follow pretend tracks to learn more about animals that live in Glacial Park and how they walk. Make your very own animal track guide to take outside to see if you can identify any footprints on the trails of Glacial Park.
February — Coyotes
How do your senses compare to those of a coyote’s? Test your hearing and your smell with sensory matching games. View a coyote taxidermy mount, hear their calls, and pack a coyote lunch box with all the things they like to eat. Go for a hike to search for clues like tracks and scat!