Fox Valley

There’s a Predatory Insect in the Fox Valley!

by Tom Schrader September marks the end of both astronomical and meteorological summer and the beginning of fall here in the Northern Hemisphere.  The days get shorter, the nights get a little cooler, and in our fields and prairies of the Fox River Valley area, September also marks the beginning of the breeding season for … Read more

heart_river-crppd

It’s Our Fox River Day – A Watershed-Wide Celebration

On Saturday, September 18, Friends of the Fox River will coordinate our third river-length event on the entire Fox River from Waukesha, Wisconsin to the confluence in Ottawa, Illinois. We are reaching out to Mayors, City Councils, Park Districts and Forest Preserve Districts along the river, along with environmental groups, faith communities, youth organizations and … Read more

Friend Feature: Maureen and Larry Huey Go Native! 

By Jenni Schiavone, Friends of the Fox River Lead Educator Batavia residents and Friends of the Fox River members Maureen and Larry Huey recently took a giant leap. These passionate and active environmentalists invested in the conversion of their entire Fox River waterfront property from mowed turf to native plants. Maureen and Larry’s inspiration came from … 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

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

by Scott Martin

Meet Your Returning Neighbors

By Jack MacRae Ornithologists have learned a great deal about dark-eyed juncos, those cute, gray and white snowbirds that visit us from the north.  We know their size, color, diet, and – most interesting – we know what they do.  Their migration patterns, flocking activity, and feeding habits make them neighbors you should meet! It’s Warmer Here … Read more

walnut tree

Meet your Tall Neighbor

By Black Jack MacRae When I think of black walnuts, I think of their abscission layer.  Abscission is a botanical term used to describe the highly complex separation of leaves, flowers, and fruits from their respective plants at the end of the growing season. In a nutshell, our deciduous trees produce hormones to inhibit growth and … Read more

drought map

How are you handling the drought?

If you look at the lawn, you probably see evidence of drought conditions; brown and brittle leaves. The grass is probably not native to this region, so it goes into a dormant state when conditions are too arid. Intervening with watering can actually make things worse for the plants. Native plants are drought adapted and … Read more

north american watersheds

A Watershed is Not Where the Well is Located

By Gary Swick, FOFR President I have been asking folks for decades, “What is a watershed?” It is important to us because Friends of the Fox River (FOFR) is Creating a Watershed of Caretakers. Understanding the term/concept is essential in maintaining and protecting our Fox River. A watershed is not a building where the well … Read more