Letters from Birdland: A wonderful holiday with my boys

Birdland awoke this morning in a shroud of fog. As much as I love to see the horizon when I walk out with a scoop of pellets for the chickens, I can honor the mystery of having the long view hidden. I somehow feel sheltered, even though that fog offers no real protection from whatever waits out there.

Champaign business is lone bidder for Kickapoo cafe, river trips

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign recreation business has submitted a proposal to run river trips and the cafe at Kickapoo State Recreation Area next year, according to state officials.

Water officials: Lake Vermilion's nitrate levels too high

DANVILLE — Over the past three years, nitrate levels that exceed drinking-water standards have been recorded in Lake Vermilion, Aqua Illinois officials told Vermilion County landowners Thursday.

Rauner assist nudges energy bill toward House vote

SPRINGFIELD — With an assist from Gov. Bruce Rauner, a multimillion-dollar deal that raises electric rates, saves jobs at two nuclear plants, provides more money for energy conservation programs and preserves Illinois as a leader in clean energy inched closer to a House floor vote.

House panel backs energy bill, but changes likely

SPRINGFIELD — A far-reaching bill that would increase electric rates throughout Illinois was approved by a House committee Tuesday and could get a floor vote today or Thursday.

Discussion to focus on climate change's effects on agribusiness

The effects of climate change on agribusiness — from flooding to changing weather patterns to agricultural techniques — will be the topic of a panel discussion tonight at the Champaign Public Library.

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and CU-Citizen Access will host the event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Robeson Pavilion Room at the library, 200 W. Green St., C.

Top of the morning, Nov. 21, 2016

On Mondays, our award-winning photographers tell their stories. This week, Photo Editor JOHN DIXON describes his fruitless hunt for a photo of last week's supermoon.

Last Monday morning, I was chasing the supermoon through the sky over Champaign.

At 4 a.m.

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: It's perfect time to spot raptors

Some years ago — nevermind how long precisely — I took advantage of a break in the morning rain to bicycle from my home in Champaign to my office at the University of Illinois.

Letter from Birdland: It's a good time to build bonds

A chill has come over Birdland, and we've got a lot of work to do to prepare for the long, cold, lonely winter ahead, little darlings. The heart of the matter is the hearth. We need to carve hospitable spaces in our home and our lives. In Birdland, that means we need to put our own house in order, dusting, cleaning, getting rid of unnecessary distractions.

Forecasted cold spell has temps, leaves finally set to fall

Evidently, trees have also been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather we've seen this fall — their slowness to shed has led to a sluggish start for local leaf pickup.

But falling temperatures this weekend — lows in the 20s and 30s are forecast 10 days out, starting Friday — will ensure the remaining leaves will take a tumble, too, area arborists say.