| Dec 2, 2012
That adage that couples who play together stay together? P.J. and Donna Smith are that couple.
Married in 2000, they have worked together for more than 18 years and spend most of their leisure time fly-fishing. Or talking about fly-fishing. Or attending...
| Oct 24, 2012
Above the Grove Portage Trail at the River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook, the canopy of trees was taxicab yellow. With the sun pouring down from above, the colors glowed.
Beneath them, we walkers gaped at the view, pointed our cameras and counted...
| Jul 23, 2013
You planted them. Now don't forget them.
New plants need special attention at first, until they have settled into their new soil and sent out the fine roots they need to anchor themselves and collect and store water and nutrients.
The plants' most...
| Jul 7, 2013
If flowers are the language of love, then Cathy Haibach and Marcus de la fleur speak a dialect that has evolved over thousands of years: the language of the prairie, where their relationship sparked to life.
"With Marcus, I discovered nature in Chicago,...
| May 13, 2013
Some of a gardener's best friends are bugs. Yes, bugs. Many of the insects and other creepy-crawlies in our flower beds and vegetable patches and on trees are doing good work. Most are harmless, though there are a few that might do our plants...
| Sep 26, 2012
Seventy years have passed since four little girls in crisp white blouses and plaid skirts shared graham crackers, nap mats and giggles at St. Barnabas School in Chicago's Beverly community.
It was 1942. Rosalie, Kathy and Mary Jane were in one...
| Sep 5, 2013
We need bees to carry pollen for our vegetable and fruit crops as well as our flowers and trees. And of course, we love honeybees for their honey.
But honeybees are not the only bees on the block, says Stephanie Adams, plant health care research...
| Jul 18, 2013
After a summer storm has passed, the iconic image you'll see on TV news coverage is a broken tree branch atop a car, a roof or a power line. Sometimes a tree is so battered by the storm it must be removed altogether.
But the risk of tree damage during...
| Jul 13, 2013
This is a story about a blue crab killed for no good reason.
It is a story about birth and rebirth, law and life, nature and nurture, cooperation and connection, cultivation and civilization, production and destruction, seed and greed, Adam and Eve....
| Aug 1, 2013
| 11:40 AM
For some, it just isn't a complete summer without hearing the words of the Bard spoken into the warm nighttime air — or just a few outdoor lines of Roald Dahl down by the bugs. Fear not, grass-sitting theater-goers, the outdoor season is still in...
| Nov 11, 2012
The Christmas Schooner
Have yourself a City of Big Shoulders Christmas at the Mercury Theater, the current home of the beloved Chicago musical, “The Christmas Schooner.” Created by John Reeger and Julie Shannon, “Schooner”...