Fox Valley

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

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

Turkey vulture scavenger

Meet Your Scavenging Neighbors

By Jack MacRae Turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) are frequent flyers in our wild skies. Teetering on their long wings, these aerial scavengers love to glide up and down the Fox River Valley. Turkey vultures are large, dark feathered birds with bald red heads. They hold their wings at a slight dihedral (“V” shaped) and the … 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

By Mdf - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4106444

Meet Your Orange, Black, Golden Yellow Neighbors

Few people realize that a fairly obscure Englishman nobleman named Cecil Calvert, (1605 – 1675) is directly responsible for the name of a major American city, the name of major league baseball team, and the name of a familiar neighborhood songbird. In today’s world Cecil Calvert is celebrated as Lord Baltimore. And, for the next several … Read more

family on a woodland trail

Second Saturday Outdoor Family Adventure

You and your family are invited to join us on the 2nd Saturday of each month as we explore special places along the Fox River and throughout its watershed. Learn what a watershed is. See how the Fox River was formed, Visit the special natural areas that make the Fox River Valley an important ecosystem, … Read more