Tour Dale Steichen Native Gardens and Wildlife Habitat

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Join us for a?tour of?Dale Steichen’s property in?Elgin, IL on?08/29/2015 from
10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Here is how Dale describes his property:

I have two acres, which includes wet land, woods and prairie which we began restoring over 15 years ago.?A lot of the plants are herbs and there is always something in bloom from early spring to late fall. Our red twig dog wood and evergreens ?offer winter color. with many breathtaking smells (mountain mint just to name one).
I have many pollinators, for birds and bees. Prairie dock for gold finch, grasses like Indian grass, big blue stem, little blue stem, switch grass.service berries, blue berries, black berries and wild strawberries, Elbe berries. There are all kind of trees for birds to nest in. During?autumn, once the leaves are gone, there are nests visible in all of the brushes and trees. All kind of birds native to this area can be found in my back yard, a bird watchers heaven.
Plants for honey bees and black jacks. cat mint, cone flower, queen of the prairie to name but a few. Tall grass for field mice, which feed the many red tail hawks, fox, coyote and the rare eagle that can be found in my back yard.
Rather than burn yard waste or get rid of it, trees provide down branches and limbs for cover and habit for rabbits and mice, chipmunk,?which continues the food chain. My creek and wet land is home to many, many frogs, bull frogs, leopard frogs and turtles. You cannot walk the back yard without seeing some kind of frog (snapping turtles and painted turtles).
Every year, with out fail, there is a three hundred pound female snapping turtle laying?anywhere from eighty to a hundred eggs. Always the first of June. Always in the same spot. Never fails. She was just a few days late this year. I think she was just waiting for me to return from St. Paul Minn on June 6th.
I attended a enviromental protest march against oil pipe lines,?which are not noted for caring for our environment. When I got back she was their again. This year she had a couple of friends with her, two painted turtles. They were all looking for place to lay their eggs. I guess I am doing something right.
One year I had a small parade of turtles coming out of my tall native grasses. Seven or eight just started coming out. You cannot buy that kind of entertainment!?It’s not uncommon to see herons out there in my creek walking though. I have cardinal flower which bring the humming birds and dragonflies.?Swamp milkweed grows all over the place which invites many, many monarchs butterflies, little white butterflies, black with dark blue butterflies and yellow swallows.
There is butterfly weed, prairie drop seed (love that stuff, which grows everywhere the eye can see), bee balm, blue vervain, Joe pye weed, cup plant, bluebells, buttercup, blood root, prairie smoke, wild geramuns, and snowdrops,?May apples that just showed up a couple of years ago and is spreading, trillum. And my all time favorite, a couple of different sedges. A?dry river bed to kind of break things up a bit. And I did not mention the other half of my natives, and my newest and greatest (but I say that all the time) just discover first of June tall blu marigold. They say it is not suppose to bloom till July. I will not complain. ?Every day is different, every season there is something new and exciting happening out there. I spend every free minute outside, does not matter if it’s a light rain or frigid cold, or super hot. It’s my slice of heaven! Always showing off my natives? got so many people excited about nature and what she has to offer. And, is that not what it all about!!!
View our Events page for details of this tour.

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