Just as more and more people enjoy watching birds and butterflies, watching the many shimmering dragonflies and damselflies—collectively called odonates, from Odonata, the name of this order of aquatic insects—has become a popular pastime. Now Dragonflies and Damselflies in Your Pocket introduces us to 50 of the showiest odonates of the Upper Midwest.
Ann Johnson’s text is clear and informative and her photographs are stunning; it is impossible to look at them without wanting to head out for the nearest stream and search for the living insects. In addition to providing useful general information about broad-winged damsels, spreadwings, pond damsels, darners, clubtails, cruisers, emeralds, and skimmers, she includes common and scientific names, sizes, general flight seasons, and the best habitats in which to find each species: rocky rivers, wetlands, ponds, still waters, and so on.
With their extremely large eyes, elongated transparent wings, long and slender abdomens, and prehensile extendible jaws, dragonflies and damselflies are efficient hunters and quick, darting fliers. Their beauty and their behavior make them delightful subjects for birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Dragonflies and Damselflies in Your Pocket will greatly enhance your appreciation of these winged marvels.
No bird is common, if we use “common” to mean ordinary. But birds that are seen more commonly than others can seem less noteworthy than species that are rarely glimpsed. In this gathering of essays and illustrations celebrating fifty of the most common birds of the Upper Midwest, illustrator Dana Gardner and writer Nancy Overcott encourage us to take a closer look at these familiar birds with renewed appreciation for their not-so-ordinary beauty and lifeways.Beginning with the garishly colored male and the more gently colored female wood duck, whose tree cavity nest serves as a launching pad for ducklings in the summer months, and ending on a bright yellow note with the American goldfinch, whose cheerful presence enlivens the midwestern landscape all year long, Overcott combines field observations drawn from her twenty-plus years of living and birding in Minnesota's Big Woods with anecdotes and data from other ornithologists to portray each species' life cycle, its vocalizations and appearance, and its habitat, food, and foraging methods as well as migration patterns and distribution. Infused with a dedication to conserving natural resources, her succinct yet personable prose forms an ideal complement to Gardner's watercolors as this renowned illustrator of avian life worldwide revisits the birds of his childhood. Together art and text ensure that the wild turkey, great blue heron, sharp-shinned hawk, barred owl, pileated woodpecker, house wren, ovenbird, field sparrow, rose-breasted grosbeak, red-winged blackbird, and forty other species of the Upper Midwest are never seen as common again.
Although the many common birds of the Upper Midwest are lovely to hear and see, there is no doubt that the uncommon birds attract more attention. In this gorgeously illustrated companion to their Fifty Common Birds of the Upper Midwest, which provided a new appreciation of the not-so-ordinary beauty and life ways of familiar birds, illustrator Dana Gardner and writer Nancy Overcott celebrate the rarer birds of the Upper Midwest.
The authors selected species that are uncommon because of dwindling populations, species that may be common elsewhere but not in the Upper Midwest, species that may be abundant one year and absent the next, and species that are usually present but seldom seen. Beginning with the surf scoter with its multicolored bill and ending with the gregarious evening grosbeak, which resembles a giant goldfinch, they pair watercolors of each species with text that portrays its life cycle, its vocalizations and distribution. Throughout, Overcott's personable text is infused with the pleasures of her twenty-plus years of living and birding in Minnesota's Big Woods and her dedication to preserving natural resources, and Gardner's paintings-each a gorgeous reminder of the rare qualities of these uncommon birds from this renowned illustrator of bird life worldwide-emphasize her call for conservation efforts.
The annotated bibliography includes online information about national and international organizations that focus on birds or that affect birds through conservation, as well as information about a variety of books and journals for beginning to experienced birders.
Whether sitting in a boat with a rod and reel trying to outwit a largemouth bass or watching bluntnose minnows dart among the rocks of a sparkling stream, many people are attracted to fish. Hundreds of species can be found in the ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams of the Upper Midwest, from the beautifully colored orangethroat darter to the prehistoric-looking shovelnose sturgeon. This much-needed addition to Iowa’s popular series of laminated guides—the twenty-eighth in the series—describes twenty-nine fish species, including some of the most sought after game fish like bluegill and largemouth bass, as well as less common species like logperch and the snakelike American eel.
Terry VanDeWalle includes a thorough description of each species, and covers the Upper Midwest states of Kansas, Illinois, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
The careful descriptions and habitat and diet information in Fish inYour Pocket—enhanced with superb photographs by underwater photographer Garold Sneegas—make it extremely useful for anglers and naturalists alike.
Challenging and considerably broadening popular and scholarly definitions of American folk music, Folksongs of Another America recovers the diverse, multilingual traditions of immigrant, Native American, rural, and working-class performers in America's Upper Midwest during the 1930s and 1940s. The book extensively documents 187 tunes and songs in more than twenty-five languages, with full original lyrics and English translations, and biographical notes on the performers. The companion musical tracks and documentary film will be freely available for listening, viewing, or download through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin Libraries' Digital Collections Center.
Frogs and toads have become canaries in the coal mine when it comes to conservation, as the discovery of malformed frogs has brought increased attention to global habitat loss, declining biodiversity, and environmental pollution. Midwestern species of frogs and toads—already declining due to habitat loss from agriculture—have been greatly affected by this worldwide phenomenon. VanDeWalle includes a complete description of each species along with distinguishing characteristics for three subspecies, information about range and habitat preferences, diet, types of calls, and breeding season.
Want to have a garden that is both beautiful and biodiverse, satisfying and sustainable? In this book, long-time landscape designer Judy Nauseef shows gardeners in the upper Midwest how to restore habitat and diversity to their piece of the planet by making native plants part of well-designed, thoughtfully planned gardens. In contrast to most books about gardening with native plants, Nauseef provides specific regional information. Working against the backdrop of habitat and species losses in the tallgrass prairie states, she brings years of experience to creating landscapes that recall the now-vanished grasslands of the Midwest.
Nauseef emphasizes the need for careful planning and design to create comfortable, low-maintenance spaces that bring homeowners outside. Her designs solve problems such as a lack of privacy, shade, or sun; plan for water use; replace troublesome nonnative plants with native plants that attract pollinators; and enable homeowners to enjoy living sustainably on their land. Colorful photographs of projects around the Midwest show the wide range of possibilities, from newly created gardens using only native plants to traditional gardens that mix nonnative with native species. Whether you have a city yard, a suburban lot, or a rural acreage, there are ideas here for you, along with examples of well-designed landscapes in which native plants enhance paths, patios, pergolas, and steps.
Providing information on planting and maintaining native plants and prairies as well as seed and plant sources, organizations, and public arboretum and prairie sites, this book enables every gardener to master a new palette of plants and landforms. However small our personal landscapes, together they can slow the loss of many species of plants and wildlife and bring native flowers and grasses back where they belong. Ecologists, landscape architects and designers, master gardeners, landscape contractors, teachers, and home gardeners—everyone dedicated to conserving and improving our environment—will benefit from Nauseef’s approach.
At the time of European settlement, tallgrass prairie was the iconic landscape in much of the Upper Midwest. Although its extent has been drastically reduced, intact prairie remnants exist, prairie species persist along roadsides, and interest in prairie reconstruction has increased. The basic prairie matrix is formed by grasses, yet their diversity and beauty are often underappreciated because their flowering structures are highly reduced to aid in wind pollination. This much-needed addition to Iowa’s popular series of laminated guides—the twenty-sixth in the series—illustrates fifty-five grass species characteristic of or commonly found on prairies of the Upper Midwest states of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The authors have organized species into groups by their most easily noted field characteristics. Are the flowering heads branched or unbranched? Are the branches dense, narrow, or fingerlike? For each species, its native or exotic status is followed by the months of flowering, abundance, general habitat, height, diagnostic features, geographic range, and, if relevant, threatened or endangered status.
Even amateur naturalists can identify big and little bluestem and prairie dropseed in the field, but both professional and amateur naturalists find certain grasses harder to identify, especially the less common or rare species such as cluster fescue and sand reedgrass. The photographs and descriptions in Grasses in Your Pocket will be an invaluable reference for outdoor expeditions in midwestern grasslands.
In Hidden Thunder, renowned watercolor artist Geri Schrab and archaeologist Robert "Ernie" Boszhardt give readers an up-close-and-personal look at rock art. With an eye toward preservation, Schrab and Boszhardt take you with them as they research, document, and interpret at the ancient petroglyphs and pictographs made my Native Americans in past millennia. In addition to publicly accessible sites such as Wisconsin’s Roche-a-Cri State Park and Minnesota’s Jeffers Petroglyphs, Hidden Thunder covers the artistic treasures found at several remote and inaccessible rock art sites—revealing the ancient stories through words, full-color photographs, and artistic renditions.
Offering the duo perspectives of scientist and artist, Boszhardt shares the facts that archaeologists have been able to establish about these important artifacts of our early history, while Schrab offers the artist's experience, describing her emotional and creative response upon encountering and painting these sites. Viewpoints by members of the Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Ojibwe, and other Native nations offer additional insight on the historic and cultural significance of these sites. Together these myriad voices reveal layers of meaning and cultural context that emphasize why these fragile resources—often marred by human graffiti and mishandling or damage from the elements—need to be preserved.
Forests have always been more than just their trees. The forests in Michigan (and similar forests in other Great Lakes states such as Wisconsin and Minnesota) played a role in the American cultural imagination from the beginnings of European settlement in the early nineteenth century to the present. Our relationships with those forests have been shaped by the cultural attitudes of the times, and people have invested in them both moral and spiritual meanings.
Author John Knott draws upon such works as Simon Schama's Landscape and Memory and Robert Pogue Harrison's Forests: The Shadow of Civilization in exploring ways in which our
relationships with forests have been shaped, using Michigan---its history of settlement, popular literature, and forest management controversies---as an exemplary case. Knott looks at such well-known figures as William Bradford, James Fenimore Cooper, John Muir, John Burroughs, and Teddy Roosevelt; Ojibwa conceptions of the forest and natural world (including how Longfellow mythologized them); early explorer accounts; and contemporary literature set in the Upper Peninsula, including Jim Harrison's True North and Philip Caputo's Indian Country.
Two competing metaphors evolved over time, Knott shows: the forest as howling wilderness, impeding the progress of civilization and in need of subjugation, and the forest as temple or cathedral, worthy of reverence and protection. Imagining the Forestshows the origin and development of both.
Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest is an informative, colorful, comprehensive guide to invasive species that are currently endangering native habitats in the region. It will be an essential resource for land managers, nature lovers, property owners, farmers, landscapers, educators, botanists, foresters, and gardeners.
Invasive plants are a growing threat to ecosystems everywhere. Often originating in distant climes, they spread to woodlands, wetlands, prairies, roadsides, and backyards that lack the biological controls which kept these plant populations in check in their homelands. Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest includes more than 250 color photos that will help anyone identify problem trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, sedges, and herbaceous plants (including aquatic invaders). The text offers further details of plant identification; manual, mechanical, biological, and chemical control techniques; information and advice about herbicides; and suggestions for related ecological restoration and community education efforts. Also included are literature references, a glossary, a matrix of existing and potential invasive species in the Upper Midwest, an index with both scientific and common plant names, advice on state agencies to contact with invasive plant questions, and other helpful resources.
The information in this book has been carefully reviewed by staffs of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Endangered Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum and other invasive plant experts.
This welcome addition to Iowa’s popular series of laminated guides—the twenty-seventh in the series—illustrates fifty-one species commonly found in the Upper Midwest states of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The Saturniid, or Giant Silk moths, are well named. Their large size—up to 6.5 inches for the cecropia moth—and the soft silky browns, greens, and oranges of their wings are unforgettable when they appear at a lighted window at night. Equally well named are the Sphinx or Hawk moths, important pollinators that hover like hummingbirds when nectar-feeding at dusk and even in daylight. The caterpillars of both families can be just as distinctive as the adults, as anyone who has ever come upon a tobacco or a tomato hornworm can attest.
For each species the authors have included common and scientific names, wingspan, and time of flight for the adults at this final stage in their life cycle. Striking photographs of the adult moths and of their larval stages make this guide as beautiful as it is useful.
For all naturalists captivated by the clear window eyespots of a Swallow-tailed Luna moth, the dark eyespots and bright yellow “pupils” of an Io moth, or the extendable proboscis of a White-lined Sphinx moth flitting from one moss rose to another, the photographs and descriptions in Moths in Your Pocket will be an invaluable reference.
This volume constitutes the final, general report of the comprehensive research conducted by the Upper Midwest Economic Study, a joint undertaking of the Upper Midwest Research and Development Council and the University of Minnesota. The authors present a detailed analysis of the economy of the Upper Midwest, the region coincident with the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, twenty-six counties in northwestern Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The present study analyzes the region’s past economic growth, its current structure, and possible future development. The region’s initial economic growth was based upon its natural resources—land, forest, and minerals. Today productivity growth is increasing more rapidly than demand in most of these sectors. Hence, total employment opportunities in resource-based industries are declining. Future employment growth generally must be based on the region’s advantage in human resources. This is the challenge for economic growth in the Upper Midwest. The same challenge exists on a nation-wide basis, but the severity of transition away from natural resources industries is greater in the Upper Midwest because of its above-average reliance on such industries.
The authors analyze economic change in the region from 1950 to 1960 and possible future development through 1975, with projections of employment, income, population, and migration for 1975. The projections, based on an assumption of no new action to facilitate economic growth in the region, serve mainly as a departure point for the analysis of regional policy and action.
The tallgrass prairie offers solutions to the many environmental challenges facing our water, soils, and ecosystems. Planting prairie on just 10 percent of a field can effectively remove excess phosphorous and nitrogen from the remaining 90 percent. Deep prairie roots and dense aboveground growth filter and hold soils, keeping them from eroding into our streams and rivers. Plants such as common milkweed are the key to the monarch butterfly’s recovery. In light of these benefits, perhaps our love affair with European turf grass is slowly giving way to an appreciation of the beauty of our original native prairie.
As interest in these wildflowers and grasses has grown, so has demand for better resources to identify the hundreds of species that make up the native prairie. In The Prairie in Seed, Dave Williams shows us how to identify wildflowers when they are out of bloom and, in particular, how to harvest their seeds. Without the flower color and shape as guides, it can be difficult to identify prairie plants. Imagine trying to distinguish between a simple prairie sunflower and an ox-eye sunflower with no flowers to look at!
In this richly illustrated guide, Williams offers dormant plant identification information, seed descriptions, and advice on seed harvesting and cleaning for seventy-three of the most common wildflowers found in the tallgrass prairie. He includes photographs and descriptions of the plants in bloom and in seed to assist in finding them when you are ready to harvest. Each species description explains where the seeds are located on the plant, when seed ripening begins, and how many seeds each species produces, along with a photograph and approximate measurements of the actual seed. Finally, this guide provides assistance on how and when to hand-harvest seeds for each species, as well as some simple tips on seed cleaning.
An indispensable guide for anyone involved in prairie restoration or conservation, this book is the perfect complement to Williams’s The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Seed and Seedling Identification in the Upper Midwest.
Iowa is the only state that lies entirely within the natural region of the tallgrass prairie. Early documents indicate that 95 percent of the state—close to 30 million acres—was covered by prairie vegetation at the time of Euro-American settlement. By 1930 the prairie sod had been almost totally converted to cropland; only about 30,000 acres of the original “great green sea” remained. Now, in this gracefully illustrated manual, Shirley Shirley has created a step-by-step guide to reconstructing the natural landscape of Iowa and the Upper Midwest.
Chapters on planning, obtaining and selecting plants and seeds, starting seeds indoors, preparing the site, planting, and maintenance set the stage for comprehensive species accounts. Shirley gives firsthand information on soil, moisture, sun, and pH requirements; location, size, and structure; blooming time and color; and propagation, germination, and harvesting for more than a hundred wildflowers and grasses.
Shirley's sketches—all drawn from native plants and from seedlings that she grew herself—will be valuable for even the most experienced gardener. While other books typically feature only the flowering plant, her careful drawings show the three stages of the seedlings, the flower, and the seedhead with seeds as well as the entire plant. This practical and attractive volume will help anyone dedicated to reconstructing the lost “emerald growth” of the historic tallgrass prairie.
Finding a salamander in the woodlands rates as one of the most enjoyable surprises of an early morning hike. Active mainly at night, these secretive, shiny, lizardlike amphibians often glow like jewels when found under the logs or rocks that many prefer. This colorful addition to Iowa’s popular series of laminated guides—the twenty-fifth in the series—will inform both amateur and professional naturalists about twenty-five species of salamanders found in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.
Common mudpuppies and lesser sirens spend their entire lives in water, never losing the gills that they developed as larvae; the lungless four-toed salamander distracts predators by detaching its tail; the eastern newt discourages predators by secreting poisonous chemicals from its skin; the flat-bodied hellbender, which can reach twenty-nine inches in length, breathes by absorbing oxygen through the folds of its skin. These, plus the well-named slimy, zigzag, tiger, and other salamanders in this guide, are now threatened by loss of habitat, pollution, and a deadly fungus.
Terry VanDeWalle provides a complete description of each species as well as distinguishing characteristics for twenty-one subspecies, from the striking orange and yellow spots of the spotted salamander to the lichenlike patches of the green salamander to the prominent rounded head of the mole salamander. He also includes information about the salamanders’ range and habitat preferences, from twilight zones of limestone caves and crevices to seepages and spring-fed bogs. His comparisons of similar species and his comprehensive key are most helpful for identifying individuals in the field. Superb photographs by Suzanne Collins make this new guide the perfect companion for outdoor expeditions in all kinds of moist environments.
The translation and explanation of genus and species names yield markers to help us identify birds in the field as well as remember distinctive traits. Having a basic understanding of the scientific and common names of birds reveals insights into their color, behavior, habitat, or geography. Knowing that Cyanocitta means “blue chatterer” and cristata means “crested, tufted” or that Anas means “a duck” and clypeata means “armed with a shield” tells you just about everything you need to identify a Blue Jay or a Northern Shoveler. In this portable reference book, James Sandrock and Jean Prior explain the science and history behind the names of some 450 birds of the Upper Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Since many of these birds occur throughout the United States, this handbook can also be used by birders in other parts of the country.
The authors examine the roots, stems, and construction of scientific names from their classical Latin and Greek or other linguistic origins. The translations of these words and insights into their sources yield quirky, tantalizing facts about the people, geography, habitat, and mythology behind bird names. Each entry also includes the bird’s common name as well as local or regional names. Beginning birders confused by scientific names as well as more experienced birders curious about such names will find that the book opens unexpected connections into linguistic, historical, biological, artistic, biographical, and even aesthetic realms.
Highlighting the obvious and not-so-obvious links between birds and language, this practical guide continues a long scholarly tradition of such books by and for those afoot in the field. Whether you are hiking with binoculars or watching a backyard bird feeder or reading at home, The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest will greatly enhance your appreciation of birds.
From the rare and docile massasauga, which relies on camouflage to remain unnoticed, to the more familiar bullsnake, which defends itself by hissing loudly and vibrating its tail from an S-shaped striking position, to the eastern racer, often seen crawling at more than three miles an hour during daytime, snakes are beautiful animals with habits both fascinating and beneficial to humans. Their relatives the lizards, most of which are more easily seen and identified, exhibit similarly fascinating behavior. This colorful addition to our series of laminated guides informs both amateur and professional herpetologists about twenty-seven species of snakes and six species of lizards in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.
Terry VanDeWalle provides a complete description of each species, both adult and young, as well as distinguishing characteristics for thirty-two subspecies of snakes and two subspecies of lizards: length, color, head and neck patterns, scales, and so on. Also included is information about habitat preferences: forests, wet meadows, and sand prairies, for example. Most helpful for identifying snakes and lizards in the field are his comparisons of similar species and his comprehensive key.
Superb photographs by Suzanne Collins of adult and, when needed for identification, young snakes and lizards make this guide the perfect companion for hikers in all kinds of environments whenever a snake ripples across your path or a lizard darts into the underbrush.
In the land of beer, cheese, and muskies—where the polka is danced and winter is unending and where Lutherans and Catholics predominate—everybody is ethnic, the politics are clean, and the humor is plentiful. This collection includes jokes, humorous anecdotes, and tall tales from ethnic groups (Woodland Indians, French, Cornish, Germans, Irish, Scandinavians, Finns, and Poles) and working folk (loggers, miners, farmers, townsfolk, hunters, and fishers). Dig into the rich cultural context supplied by the notes and photographs, or just laugh at the hundreds of jokes gathered at small-town cafes, farm tables, job sites, and church suppers. This second edition includes an afterword and indexes of motifs and tale types.
Although less than 3 percent of the original vast landscape survives, the tallgrass prairie remains a national treasure, glowing with a vast array of colorful wildflowers in spring and summer, enriched by the warm reds and browns of grasses in fall and winter. This comprehensive manual, crafted by the staff of the Tallgrass Prairie Center at the University of Northern Iowa, will be an essential companion for everyone dedicated to planning, developing, and maintaining all types of prairie restorations and reconstructions in the tallgrass prairie region of Iowa, northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, southwestern Wisconsin, southwestern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, northwestern Missouri, and northeastern Kansas.
Focusing on conservation plantings, prairie recovery, native landscaping in yards and at schools, roadside plantings, and pasture renovations, the authors—who collectively have more than a hundred years of experience with prairie restoration—have created a manual that will be particularly useful to landowners, conservation agency personnel, ecosystem managers, native-seeding contractors, prairie enthusiasts, teachers, and roadside managers. A wealth of color and black-and-white photographs taken in the field as well as checklists and tables support the detailed text, which also includes useful online and print sources and references, a glossary, and lists of common and scientific names of all plant species discussed.
The text is divided into five parts. Part I, Reconstruction Planning, provides an overall summary of the entire process, information about securing good-quality seed, and the design of seed mixes. In Part II, Implementing Reconstruction, the authors consider ways to prepare and seed the site, manage the site in its first growing season, identify seedlings, and evaluate success. Part III, Prairie Restoration and Management, deals with identifying and assessing prairie remnants, working toward a predetermined restoration goal, and managing restored prairie remnants and completed reconstructions, including prescribed burning. Chapters in Part IV, Special Cases, discuss the uses of prairie in public spaces, roadside vegetation management, and landscaping on a smaller scale in yards and outdoor classrooms. Part V, Native Seed Production, describes the processes of harvesting, drying, cleaning, and storing native seed as well as propagating and transplanting native seedlings.
Although we cannot recreate the original blacksoil prairie, tallgrass prairie restoration offers the opportunity to reverse environmental damage and provide for the recovery of vital aspects of this lost ecosystem. Anyone in the Upper Midwest who wishes to improve water quality, reduce flood damage, support species diversity, preserve animal habitats, and enjoy the changing panorama of grasses and wildflowers will benefit from the clear, careful text and copious illustrations in this authoritative guide.
Settlers crossing the tallgrass prairie in the early 1800s were greeted by a seemingly endless landscape of wildflowers and grasses, one of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet. Today, although the tallgrass prairie has been reduced to a tiny percentage of its former expanse, people are working to restore and reconstruct prairie communities. This lavishly illustrated guide to seeds and seedlings, crafted by Tallgrass Prairie Center botanist Dave Williams and illustrator Brent Butler, will insure that everyone from urban gardeners to grassland managers can properly identify and germinate seventy-two species of tallgrass wildflowers and grasses in eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, Iowa, eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, northwestern Missouri, and eastern Oklahoma.
Williams has created a brilliant, nearly foolproof system of identification and verification. Two primary keys lead to eleven secondary keys that link to characteristic groups of tallgrass plants: seven groups for wildflowers and four groups for grasses. To identify a seedling, use the primary key to discover its place in the secondary key, then turn to that characteristic group to find your seedling. Circles on each full seedling photograph correspond to close-up photographs; triangles on these close-ups illustrate information in the text to further pinpoint identification. Drawings of leaves illuminate exact identification, and enlarged photographs of each seed provide yet another way to confirm identification.
Thousands of seeds were sprouted in the Tallgrass Prairie Center’s greenhouse to provide seedlings close in size and development to those grown in the field near the end of their first season; research and photography took place over four years. Williams’s text for each species includes a thorough description, a comparison of similar species, and guidance for germination and growth. A complete glossary supports the text, which is concise but detailed enough to be accessible to beginning prairie enthusiasts.
Anyone in the Upper Midwest who wishes to preserve the native vegetation of prairie remnants or reconstruct a tallgrass prairie of whatever size—from home gardens to schoolyards to roadsides to large acreages—will benefit from the hundreds of photographs and drawings and the precise text in this meticulously prepared guide.
In Trailside Botany, you will find clear descriptions and detailed drawings of the 101 wildflowers, trees, and other plants that you are most likely to see along your favorite North Woods trail. Take your exploration a step further by trying the intriguing activities naturalist John Bates suggests throughout the book. The carry-along guide is a must for families, hikers, teachers, students, and naturalists of all ages.
Valued for their lumber, their shade, and the beauty of their flowers and foliage as well as the nuts that nourish wildlife and humans alike, trees play important economic, ecological, and aesthetic roles in our lives. From honey and black locusts to white and chinkapin oaks to yellow and river birches, Trees in Your Pocket gives us identification and natural history information for about forty prominent deciduous species found in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.
Botanist Tom Rosburg provides diagnostic color photographs of leaves, acorns and other fruits, and bark along with descriptions of leaves, fruits, and measurements of blades. The composition, arrangement, shape, and margin of leaves are most important for tree identification. Fruits can help confirm identification of species with similar leaves. The bark of a tree can be very helpful for identifying some species; as a tree ages, older bark (lower on the tree) can be quite different from younger bark (higher and on branches). In addition to these essential markers, Rosburg gives information about the range, habitat—savannas, moist forests, dry slopes, sandy soils, and so on—life-span, and tolerance of shade, fire, drought, and flood.
Each state in this region maintains a Big Tree program that honors the largest individual tree of each species. Champion trees are determined by adding together measurements of trunk circumference, height, and canopy spread. Rosburg identifies the trees with the largest diameter and the tallest trees among the champion trees in the Upper Midwest by their county and state. Together his superb photographs and key information make this guide the perfect companion for enjoying the diversity of trees in all kinds of environments.
From the hefty alligator snapping turtle—the largest freshwater turtle in North America and the only turtle in the world with a predatory lure in its mouth—to the wood turtle, which uses “worm stomping” to catch earthworms, to the lovely ornate box turtle, which closes its shell completely for self-defense, the slow-but-sure turtle is an intriguing reptile. Terry VanDeWalle provides a complete description of each species, both male and female, along with distinguishing characteristics for fourteen subspecies, information about range and habitat, and natural history notes about behavior, hibernation, diet, and nesting. Two panels devoted to hatchlings provide short descriptions of the young of each species as well as photographs of some commonly seen young turtles.
Robins may be the official harbingers of spring, but the arrival of the wood-warbler signifies the real beginning of the season. These brightly colored songsters, most of whom have migrated extremely long distances to reach their summer nesting grounds, appear like animated jewels from treetops to shrubs to ground throughout the Midwest. Adult males in fresh spring plumage are particularly striking: the buttery yellow of the commonly seen yellow warbler; brilliant orange of the Blackburnian and bright gold of the prothonotary; rich chestnut of the Cape May, bay-breasted, and chestnut-sided; the blue of the northern parula, cerulean, and black-throated blue make these birds a joy to encounter.
This newest addition to Iowa’s popular series of laminated guides—the twenty-eighth in the series—illustrates the thirty-eight species of warblers that occur in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. For each species, artist Dana Gardner provides length, range, and habitat; he illustrates male, female, and immature birds where plumage varies; and he includes birds similar to warblers such as kinglets and vireos.
For all their brilliance, warblers can be hard to identify, particularly in the fall—the phrase “confusing fall warblers” was coined for a reason—and when they are in immature plumage. Quick-moving and often found in treetops, they can be challenging even in spring, and the drabber colors of the young birds of the season and of many fall adults can make identification difficult. The illustrations and descriptions in Warblers in Your Pocket will be a most welcome reference for bird watchers throughout the Midwest.
This is your guide to cooking wildfoods that you can hunt, fish, or forage—or buy from a growing number of wildfoods vendors—in the Upper Midwest. You’ll savor treasured recipes like Rabbit Pie, Venison Stew, Orange Pheasant, Morel Mushroom Scramble, and Cathy’s Plum Lake Bluegill. You’ll also discover a wealth of dishes reflecting the region’s ethnic riches—from Hassenpfeffer to savory Pierogies with Oyster Mushrooms, from flaky-crusted Goose Tortiere to Catfish Curry. Wild Rice Goose also revives overlooked dishes popular in times past. If you have carp, redhorse, smelt, or turtle, dandelion greens or mulberries, you can turn these humble finds into tasty treats with tips from experienced fishermen and foragers. Cooks will appreciate the clear, kitchen-tested recipes, and fans of sporting literature will enjoy the lyrical writing.
You’ll find here:
• more than 100 recipes for wildfoods from asparagus to venison
• sidebars on regional foods, specialty preparations, and folk history
• tips on finding and cleaning game, fish, and wild edibles
• advice on freezing and drying
• a list of Upper Midwest wildfoods vendors.
Best Regional Special Interest Books, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Regional General Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
This classic of midwestern natural history is back in print with a new format and new photographs. Originally published in 1989, Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie introduced many naturalists to the beauty and diversity of the native plants of the huge grasslands that once stretched from Manitoba to Texas. Now redesigned with updated names and all-new photographs, this reliable field companion will introduce tallgrass prairie wildflowers to a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts in the Upper Midwest.
Each species account is accompanied by a brilliant full-page color photograph by botanist Thomas Rosburg. In clear, straightforward, and accessible prose, authors Sylvan Runkel and Dean Roosa provide common, scientific, and family names; the Latin or Greek meaning of the scientific names; habitat and blooming times; and a complete description of plant, flower, and fruit. Particularly interesting is the information on the many ways in which Native Americans and early pioneers used these plants for everything from pain relief to dyes to hairbrushes.
Runkel and Roosa say that prairies can be among the most peaceful places on earth; certainly they are among the most beleaguered. Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie will inspire both amateurs and professionals with the desire to learn more about the wonders of the prairie landscape.