Chicago outdoors: Special mushrooms, joy of black swallowtails, mourning doves, milkweed stems

Good hunting for special mushroom, the joy of black swallowtails, the draw of mourning doves and the need for milkweed stems are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Special mushrooms, joy of black swallowtails, mourning doves, milkweed stems
Crown-tipped coral. Provided by Bill Peak

Crown-tipped coral.

Provided by Bill Peak

Notes come from all around Chicago.


Before the dryness of August settled in, Bill Peak found “mushroom hunting very good” in northwest Indiana. Among the many finds he photographed was this crown-tipped coral.

MOTW, the celebration of mushrooms around Chicago outdoors, runs as apt in the special two-page outdoors section in the Sun-Times Sports Saturday. Submit nominations by message on Facebook (Dale Bowman), on Twitter (@BowmanOutside) and Instagram (@BowmanOutside) or email (



Sept. 19-20: Kankakee, (815) 935-2700


Through Aug. 31: Application period online for first lottery for public duck/goose permits,

Through Aug. 31: Free upland game permits, application period, go to


Black swallowtail. Provided by Paul Yambrovich

Black swallowtail.

Provided by Paul Yambrovich

“We have been having quite the black swallowtail caterpillar and butterfly festival at our place the summer. First noticed them on curly parsley plants about two months ago. Since then we have had 12 caterpillars. Three of the first seven caterpillars pupated and made it through to becoming butterflies. An amazing process to watch the chrysalis form. I always assumed that it was some sort of a silk spun cocoon, but the chrysalis just magically overtakes their body and they change in a matter of minutes!” Paul Yambrovich

A: I think an increase in interactions with butterflies is another offshoot of the pandemic and 2020.


More than 1 billion: Milkweed stems in the Upper Midwest in coming years to sustain the monarch migration, according to a new study, by Monarch Watch director Chip Taylor and colleagues, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. Click here for the article.


“Mourning Doves have the same misfortune that pigs have, the misfortune of being delicious.”

Alan W. Powers, “BirdTalk: Conversations With Birds,” via

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