More About Morels

Nancy Sweet wrote a wonderful article about morel mushrooms. I can’t wait to try her recipes. Here are some simple things we can do to be good stewards of this precious bounty. Start by being an advocate for the preservation of their habitat. Very little Oak/Hickory woodland remains in Central Illinois, compared to its historic distribution. Speak up for the wild places we still have. I have my own fond memories of gathering morels with my Cherokee grandmother. We never took all of the mushrooms we found. If there was only one, we thanked it, welcomed its future relations, and walked away empty handed. Most of the fungal body is underground in the soil. The part we enjoy eating is actually a reproductive structure. If we take them all, we interfere with the natural cycles that replenish the population for future years. Many woods here in central Illinois have been over-harvested to the point that the mushrooms aren’t nearly as abundant as they once were. Do your part by always leaving a few behind. They will produce the next generation. It is also a good idea to carry your harvest through the woods in an open weave bag. That way, any spores that have already formed have a chance of falling out along the way. I like to use the mesh bags that onions come in. If possible, return your rinse water to a nearby woods. When I was a child, my grandmother always threw the water out in the same spot and we always found morels there. Take care of your “special spot” and you will enjoy a bountiful harvest for many years to come.

– Becky Croteau, professor, biology

Fall 2015 Bird Banding Season Report

We had another successful banding season at the LLCC Bird Banding Station this fall! The highlights for our 7th banding season are below:

  • We banded over 69 mornings using anywhere from 15 to 30 mist nets
  • 2047 birds of 80 species were banded
  • 57 birds banded in previous seasons were recaptured
  • The average capture rate was 29.7 birds/day
  • We banded our 10,000th bird on 10/6/15 and it was a White-crowned Sparrow
  • The station total is now at 113 species banded with 2 new species being added this fall: Blue-headed Vireo and Cape May Warbler
  • Our banding facility is complete and we have been actively using it … especially on cold mornings
  • Additional information is in the attached LLCC BBS — 2015 Fall Final Report

Thanks to all who visited the banding station and/or supported our efforts in any way!! We plan to begin our spring banding season the week of March 21, 2016. We welcome visitors of all ages!!

Almost 200 ghosts and goblins attend Haunted Lab

Approximately 200 children and parents attended Monday’s Haunted LabHaunted Lab event sponsored by the Chemistry and Environmental clubs. Ten LLCC students and two faculty members participated in the event to entertain children and parents with fun Haunted Lab2experiments!

LLCC Chemistry and Environmental Clubs 3rd annual “Haunted Lab” Oct. 26

Children five and over invited with parents/guardians; pre-registration for free event at

The LLCC Chemistry and Environmental clubs are hosting the third annual “Haunted Lab” Monday, Oct. 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the LLCC-Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road. Children five and older and parents/guardians are invited to the free event.

Children will see “spooky” science demonstrations and learn about experiments they can do at home. Experiments will be conducted by club members under the guidance of Jennifer Ramm, LLCC professor of chemistry. Children are welcome to wear Halloween costumes to the event. Halloween treats will be available for purchase.

Science demonstration shows will run about 20 minutes long and will take place in rooms 2213 and 2215 on the upper level of Sangamon Hall. Shows begin every 15 minutes at 5:30, 5:45, 6, 6:15, 6:30, 6:45, and 7 p.m. Children will see bubbles, fire and much more as they learn about science. While waiting for shows to begin, children can participate in hands-on activities across the hall in room 2216.

Pre-registration is required.  Those planning to attend can register at

Spring 2015 bird banding season report

This is the final report MS — LLCC BBS Spring 2015 Report for the spring 2015 banding season here at LLCC. We banded 1,064 birds of 75 species over 49 days this spring. These numbers are down a bit from the last 2 springs, possibly due to the cool wet spring. (Birders across central Illinois noted that migrants were late to arrive and quick to depart.) Regardless, it was another successful season as we exposed more than 200 LLCC students and additional students from MacMurray College (Jacksonville) and UIS to the importance of bird banding! Please refer to the attached for details.

Our plans are to start the fall banding season on Aug. 24. As always, thanks for your continued support of our banding efforts!!

LLCC to offer free math workshops to prepare for placement testing

LLCC will offer free math workshops later this month to prepare students for placement testing. The workshops will benefit future LLCC students and dual credit high school students who have not yet placed into college-level math.

Workshops are being offered Monday-Thursday, June 15-18 in Sangamon Hall room 2308 on the LLCC-Springfield campus. Students may choose to attend from 9 a.m.-noon, from 1-4 p.m. or from 6-9 p.m. More information and registration is available by calling 217.786.2386.

The workshops, co-sponsored by the Illinois Community College Board, will also assist students in preparing for the math portion of the ACT exam.

Environmental Club tomato plants available for pickup

If you haven’t yet picked up your order of tomato plants from the Environmental Club, you can stop by the Biology Greenhouse between noon and 3 p.m. TODAY, May 11. If you are unable to pick them up at that time, contact Becky Croteau (786-2369) or Peggy Goetsch (786-9622) and they will arrange to meet you.

Thank you for your order! It’s not too late to purchase plants. We still have many varieties available for purchase. Come by during the hours above or contact us to arrange your shopping spree!

Environmental Club heirloom tomatoes ready for pickup

If you ordered tomato plants, your order has been filled and is waiting for you in the Biology Greenhouse in Sangamon Hall. We are hoping most of you can pick up your order between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. today, Friday, May 8, or between noon and 3 p.m. Monday, May 11. If neither of those time blocks work for you, please contact Becky Croteau (786-2369) or Peggy Goetsch (786-9622) and we will arrange to meet you.

Thank you for your order! It’s not too late to purchase plants. We still have many varieties available for purchase. Come by during the hours listed above, or contact us to arrange your shopping spree!

Twenty-two species recorded during Holiday Bird Count

Three LLCC professors, Tony Rothering, Peggy Goetsch and Chris McDonald, along with Chris’s son Mark and volunteer Jim Mordacq, braved the elements to conduct a holiday bird count on campus Jan. 4. They recorded 22 species including:

Canada Goose 110
Mallard 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Ring-billed Gull 15
Mourning Dove 8
Eastern Screech-Owl 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 3
American Kestrel 1
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 55
Black-capped Chickadee 7
Tufted Titmouse 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Carolina Wren 3
American Robin 200
European Starling 200
Song Sparrow 3
Dark-eyed Junco 30
Northern Cardinal 8
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 5

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (