Ryerson Woods is a lovely spot for a nature walk in the Chicagoland area. Its become a favorite nature escape for my family. Once we spotted a great horned owl napping high in a tree. The 552-acre preserve offers some of Illinois' most pristine woodlands and northern flatwood forests. The preserve also supports a variety state endangered species. In addition to the nature trails there are historic buildings, a Platinum LEED certified welcome center and... goats! It is well worth a visit.
So I was very excited to attend the Smith Nature Symposium at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods last month.
The evening started with a lovely cocktail reception. Who doesn't love enjoying a perfect spring evening in a garden with beverage and tiny treats? While enjoying the garden we met this Eastern Screech owl who was hit by a car and is being nursed back to health.
His work was displayed in the Brushwood Center among vintage nature books and naturalist paraphernalia. We love this kind of stuff! The Brushwood Center is open to visitors but is closed on Saturdays so make sure you schedule your hike when you can poke around in here. There is lots to see and it is quite lovely.
The MC of the event was Bill Kurtis, velvety voice of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! Vicky and George Ranney were the recipients of the 2015 Brushwood Center award for Distinguished Leadership in the World of Nature. Author William Souder was the keynote speaker. He spoke about none other than my hero Rachel Carson! His most recent book is The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson.