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Bird Walks

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Tue, 10/04/2016 - 8:00am

Join the Natural History Society of Barrington to observe resident and migrating birds. Meet in parking lot.

The post Bird Walks appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Mon, 10/03/2016 - 7:00am

Bird the grounds at Brookfield Zoo and search for migrants along the Forest Preserve Nature Trail at Swan Lake. Contact team leader James: james.mckinney@czs.org or 708.688.8475. Trips last 2 hours.

The post Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Birding with the Field Museum at Eggers Grove

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sun, 10/02/2016 - 8:00am

Warblers, sparrows, and other songbirds in the woods, recently arrived ducks on the wetland. Walk leader: Walter Marcisz More information: http://fieldmuseum.org/at-the-field/programs/birding-field.

The post Birding with the Field Museum at Eggers Grove appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Miller Meadow Big Year Birding Field Trip

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sun, 10/02/2016 - 8:00am

Sparrow walk. Register in advance with Henry Griffin: trumpetswan@comcast.net.

The post Miller Meadow Big Year Birding Field Trip appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Bird Walks

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sat, 10/01/2016 - 9:00am

Join us for a morning stroll to look for resident and migrating birds. Beginners welcome! Limited binoculars available. Registration required at least two days prior.

The post Bird Walks appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Planting Bulbs in Containers for Winter Blooms

Garden Blog - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 9:20am

Why wait until spring? Plant a bulb container for a preview of blooms to come.

In this video, the Chicago Botanic Garden shows how to create a bulb garden in a pot for winter forcing so you can enjoy a preview of spring in the midst of winter’s chill. Forcing is the act of putting plants through a cold period in order to stimulate blooming during an atypical time of the year. By potting up your bulbs now, you’ll be able to enjoy a spring garden in your living room in ten weeks.

Shop 200+ bulbs at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Fall Bulb Festival, October 8–9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Members hours: Friday, October 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

What you need:

  • A shallow container with drainage holes
  • Enough spring bulbs to fill the container (plan on planting them close together, with an inch of space between bulbs)
  • Slightly moist potting soil

Assemble your container:

  1. Cover the bottom of the pot in one inch of soil.
  2. Add your largest bulbs in a layer, leaving approximately one inch between plants.
  3. Cover these bulbs. If adding another layer of smaller bulbs, leave 1½ inches of space from the top of the pot. Add the small bulbs in this layer, leaving one-half inch of space between plants. Fill with soil to within one-fourth inch of the rim.
  4. Lightly water the container.
  5. Place your container in a cool, dark location. The container must never get above 50 degrees or below freezing. Ideal spots are an unheated garage or, if you do a small pot, the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
  6. In ten weeks your plants can be moved to a warm, sunny location. You should start to see growth within a week. (If you don’t want to bring your plants out at this time, they can hold  for several months in a cool location.)
  7. Once the plants begin to show flower buds, move to a less sunny location to prolong the blooming period.
  8. After blooming, plants should be discarded. Forced bulbs rarely transplant well into the garden.

The best plants for forcing tend to be on the smaller side. Tulips and narcissus work very well, especially the smaller cultivars. Larger blooms will require staking, especially if they don’t receive enough sunlight. Iris reticulata, Scilla siberica, Crocus, and Muscari are all wonderful bulbs for forcing: they stay small, and come in beautiful jewel tones that will brighten up any winter windowsill.  

 Muscari 'Pink Sunrise'.

Muscari ‘Pink Sunrise’

Our Fall Bulb Presale ends Friday, September 30. Choose your specialty bulbs now and pick them up at the Fall Bulb Festival.

©2016 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Busse Big Year Birding Field Trip

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Thu, 09/29/2016 - 7:30am

Join the Chicago Audubon Society to see landbird migrants and early waterfowl. Wear hiking boots. Walk leader: Alan Anderson. Reservation required with casresearch@comcast.net. Limit 15.

The post Busse Big Year Birding Field Trip appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

A guide to hoyas of Borneo / Anthony Lamb and Michele Rodda with contributions by Linus Gokusing, Steven Bosuang and Sri Rahayu.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
A guide to hoyas of Borneo / Anthony Lamb and Michele Rodda with contributions by Linus Gokusing, Steven Bosuang and Sri Rahayu.
Author: Lamb, Anthony (Botanist), author.
Call Number: QK495.A815L36 2016

Baobabs of the world / Andry Petignat & Louise Jasper ; illustrated by Louise Jasper.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
Baobabs of the world / Andry Petignat & Louise Jasper ; illustrated by Louise Jasper.
Author: Petignat, Andry, author.
Call Number: QK495.B7P48 2015

House plants : how to look after your indoor plants : with helpful advice, step-by-step projects, and inventive planting ideas / Isabelle Palmer.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
House plants : how to look after your indoor plants : with helpful advice, step-by-step projects, and inventive planting ideas / Isabelle Palmer.
Author: Palmer, Isabelle, author.
Call Number: SB419.P35 2016

Citizen scientist : searching for heroes and hope in an age of extinction / Mary Ellen Hannibal.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
Citizen scientist : searching for heroes and hope in an age of extinction / Mary Ellen Hannibal.
Author: Hannibal, Mary Ellen, author.
Call Number: QK86.A1H366 2016

Spare the birds! : George Bird Grinnell and the first Audubon Society / Carolyn Merchant.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
Spare the birds! : George Bird Grinnell and the first Audubon Society / Carolyn Merchant.
Author: Merchant, Carolyn, author.
Call Number: QL676.55.M47 2016

Jane packer's flower course : easy techniques for fabulous flower arranging.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
Jane packer's flower course : easy techniques for fabulous flower arranging.
Author: Packer, Jane, 1959-2011, author.
Call Number: SB449.P33 2016

Prairie state of mind / Larry Kanfer.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
Prairie state of mind / Larry Kanfer.
Author: Kanfer, Larry, 1956- author.
Call Number: TR660.5.K364 2016

Repotting Alice the Amorphophallus

Garden Blog - Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:24pm

I have an update on Alice the Amorphophallus: Alice has been repotted and has a leaf sprout. Yes, Alice is alive and well, happily growing in the production greenhouses here at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

(Many of you might remember we successfully pollinated Alice with pollen from Stinky, donated to us from the Denver Botanic Gardens’ own Amorphophallus titanum.)

Alice followed a normal growth cycle—as it would have in its native habitat on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia—producing fruit and seeds. This past summer, the flower stalk with the remaining fruit began to wither and collapse as Alice went into dormancy. (We successfully sowed and germinated the seeds, and were rewarded with several dozen seedlings.) On Tuesday, September 13, we removed Alice from the wooden crate she had been living in for the past 24 months, pleased to observe a healthy corm—and a new leaf shoot emerging from the top! We loosened the corm below the soil surface in order to repot it and record its current measurements, and got a few pretty interesting photos. 

First, we washed the corm thoroughly so we could examine it better and get accurate measurements of the corm’s weight and size. We looked for areas of rot, if any, and pulled off any new bulblets that may have developed. (We removed and potted up two new small bulblets—mini-corms—from Alice at this repotting.)

 Amorphophallus corm before repotting.

Here is Alice the Amorphophallus as removed from the crate, before washing.

 The freshly washed titan arum corm awaits weighing.

The freshly washed titan arum corm awaits weighing.

One big observation was that the corm had actually decreased in size and weight. The big cracks seen in the images below are from the corm rapidly shrinking in size. This is from the large amount of energy (starch and sugars) used for Alice to bloom, and in the production of fruit and seeds. Rather than losing mass and becoming spongy, the post-bloom and fruiting corm is the same density, but smaller in size—both diameter and height—by several inches.

 Titan arum corm with emerging leaf sprout and roots.

Splits in the titan arum’s corm are from its rapid decrease in size as energy was used up.

 Closeup of a large split in the titan arum corm.

Close-up of a large split in the corm

Now Alice is getting ready to begin the life cycle all over again as a leaf. A ring of new roots at the top of the corm is to support the growth of the emerging leaf bud. The roots do not form or add to a new corm—new corms come from the main corm as bulblets on the side and bottom of the original corm.

The corm has been repotted in a mixture of peat, coir (coconut fiber), composted bark, and perlite, back in its original crate, which still has room to grow in it. 

 Alice the Amorphophallus gets ready to leaf out, almost exactly a year after blooming.

Alice the Amorphophallus gets ready to leaf out, almost exactly a year after blooming.

Here are some interesting details on the corm: 

  • Corm size: 13 inches in diameter and 7.5 inches in height
  • Corm weight: 17.5 pounds (weight at last repotting in 2014 was 28.2 pounds)
  • Base of old stem (top growth plate): 4.75 inches in diameter
  • Bottom growth plate: 3.5 inches in diameter
  • New growth/leaf shoot: 2 inches tall (still underground) with a healthy rosette of new roots
  • Surface of the corm: very lumpy and warty looking

I can’t believe it has been a year since we all gathered in the Semitropical Greenhouse at the Chicago Botanic Garden to celebrate Alice’s bloom and stink. What an event that was! Alice will bloom another day, maybe three to five years from now; we will just have to wait and see. But in the meantime, it’s likely another one of the titan arums in our collection will bloom before then. 

©2016 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 7:00am

Bird the grounds at Brookfield Zoo and search for migrants along the Forest Preserve Nature Trail at Swan Lake. Contact team leader James: james.mckinney@czs.org or 708.688.8475. Trips last 2 hours.

The post Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

American medicinal plants of commercial importance / By A.F. Sievers.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
American medicinal plants of commercial importance / By A.F. Sievers.
Author: Sievers, A. F. (Arthur Frederick), 1885-
Call Number: QK99.S54 1930

American medicinal barks / by Alice Henkel.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
American medicinal barks / by Alice Henkel.
Author: Henkel, Alice, 1869-1916, author.
Call Number: QK99.H4654 1909

Wild medicinal plants of the United States. / by Alice Henkel.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
Wild medicinal plants of the United States. / by Alice Henkel.
Author: Henkel, Alice, 1869-1916.
Call Number: QK99.H46 1906

American medicinal flowers, fruits, and seeds / by Alice Henkel.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
American medicinal flowers, fruits, and seeds / by Alice Henkel.
Author: Henkel, Alice, 1869-1916.
Call Number: QK99.H45 1913

Pages

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