Blog

Friends of the Fox River Highlights and News

Fox River near Silver Springs July 2020 by Tom Schrader

Reflections on the Fox

By Tom SchraderLifelong Fisherman and Past Friends of the Fox River President Hello fellow citizens of the Fox River watershed!  I have lived in the southern part of our watershed (near Aurora) for my entire 60 years here on Earth.  I have always loved nature, particularly the water, and the plants and animals that live … Read more

Gary Swick and Otter Creek Middle School

Finding Our Way in a Changing Landscape

By Gary Swick, FOFR President Returning to familiar but different landscapes is commonplace for life in the natural world. Most bird species migrate in the fall; their return in the spring is both an investment in what was there last fall and a gamble that what is needed for survival will still be accessible. The … Read more

The Mourning Cloak By Pavel Kirillov from St. Petersburg Russia

Meet Your Morning Cloak Neighbors

By Jack MacRae The perennial winner for the Longest Life Span Award in the North American Butterfly Category is our old friend the mourning cloak. This is one of the few local butterflies that hibernates as an adult. They have a sweet trick that extends their life span to an impressive 11 months! Sweet, Deep … Read more

Synthyris reniformis

In Search of Signs of Spring

By Gary Swick, President Resilience and Hope In nature, winter is a time of conserving resources, relying upon storage, and enduring scarcity and hardship. Surviving winter requires physical resilience and hope. We have just emerged from a natural and cultural winter like none of us have ever experienced. As we travel the long crossover from … Read more

Lilium bulb iferum flower top

Spring and Friends of the Fox River Are Ready to Bloom

By Gary Swick, FOFR President Spring emergence During a Midwestern winter, nature is not dead but merely conserving energy. It is challenging for humans experiencing frigid temperatures and deep snow cover to understand that soon signs of life will vigorously emerge from the roots of plants and the insect eggs lying in the soil. Likewise, … Read more

1024px-Snapper2 By Rob Duval Own work CC BY-SA 40

Meet Your Submerged Neighbor

By Snappin’ Jack MacRae It’s not too difficult to find a few big old snapping turtles in January and February if you know where to look (under the ice), and have an adventurous streak. Warm clothes are a bonus. During the winter, when local ectothermic animals (e.g., amphibians and reptiles) are undergoing hibernation (or, brumation if you want … Read more

-ad for WWF by TBWA PARIS France via brett jordan on Flickr CC BY

Help Wanted: 1.2 Trillion Trees

By Pat Brady, DivvyBack “So dense was the original forest, it was claimed, that a squirrel might travel from the Atlantic to the Mississippi from tree limb to tree limb without ever touching the ground.” -Folklore Try searching your favorite search engine for “1 trillion trees”. You’ll find a surprising list of support for the … Read more

Nitrogen_Cycle

Together, We Can Rebuild the Fox River Ecosystem

By Gary Swick, President Restoring the Systems Working with unified efforts and a sense of collaboration, we can move forward together while we navigate a global pandemic, overcome our national social injustices, and address climate change on all levels. We have challenges ahead but our own successes with the Fox River watershed’s protection and restoration … Read more

Toilet tissue paper roll

The Issue With Tissue

By Pat Brady, DivvyBack Managing Partner “Figures don’t lie but liars figure” is a piece of modern wisdom passed on through the pen of Mark Twain. I wonder what he would say about our modern world today? There is no lack of ironies so I suppose he would have a great time. Let’s see if … Read more

Northern Cardinal

Meet Your Bright Red Neighbors

By Jack MacRae Everyone should be able to identify the northern cardinal. The boys are bright, bright red.  Their faces are black.  The girls are a fetching tawny brown with red highlights.  Both sexes are crested and have thick red beaks. But cardinals are much more than just another pretty bird. Dumpster Diving Bird History During the early … Read more