Mayslake Nature Study & Photography Club outings are a great way to have fun shooting, see new places, ask advice of other photographers and share your images on the MNSPC Flickr site. We also share stories while enjoying food and drink. Why not join us?

McClaughrey Spring Woods – April 2024

Several Mayslakers attended a MLNPC outing at McClaughrey Spring Woods, a Cook County Forest Preserve near Palos Park,Illinois, for Spring wild flower viewing, photographing, and discussions at brunch with club members .Mill Creek runs through the eastern, lowland portion of McClaughrey Springs. To the west are densely wooded ridges and ravines. The preserve is a popular destination for hikers and birders [and photographers].  The recent warmer weather produced blooms of Bluebells,  White Trilliam, Trout Lily’s, Spring Beauty’s, Anemone’s, Toothwort, Buttercup’s, Yellow Dogtooth Violets (Yellow Trout Lily’s), and Mayapple’s.  A fun time was had by all.

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center – August 2023

Several Mayslakers attended a monthly MLNPC meeting at the Sagawau Learning Center in Lemont, Illinois for hummingbird viewing, photographing, and discussion about hummingbird physiology and natural history.

 Hammel Woods Outing – February 2023

Several Mayslakers journeyed to Hammel Woods on a frosty February morning. Hank Erdmann, MNSPC Outings leader, introduced the group to Hammel Woods in Joliet. The 445 acre Hammel Woods is part of DuPage River Preservation system and is located at the site of the historic Grinton Mill. It was named in honor of American soldiers who fought in the World War I battle in Hamel, France.

McDowell Woods Outing – November 2021

Several Mayslakers journeyed to McDowell Woods to capture fall colors. They enjoyed a crisp, cold to start, fall morning in beautiful woods full of traditional colors of fall- red, orange, yellow, and brown along with a sparkly touch of frost. The West Branch DuPage River showed its fall beauty too with steam rising from the river at the start of their exploration. 

Meacham Grove  Outing – October 2021

Several Mayslakers journeyed to Meacham Grove to capture some fall colors. It started out cold but turned into a beautiful day, and it was so good to see everyone! They loved the location and color that they did see. It is interesting to see how they can be in the same place and come away with so many different interpretations of what they have seen and experienced.

West Chicago  Outing – August 2021

Several Mayslakers traveled to West Chicago to two preserves, Timber Ridge and Pratt Wayne. They braved the hot, humid air to capture great photos of dragonflies,  caterpillar, insects, green herons and prairie flowers that were in abundance. The fuzzy caterpillar is a Yellow Woolly Bear which turns into a Yellow Woolly Bear Moth.

Dixon Waterfowl Refuge Outing – July 2021

Seven Mayslakerstraveled to  Dixon Waterfowl Refuge for a great nature and photo opportunities. The 3,000-acre Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge is one of the premier natural areas in the state. Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin is great for waterfowl, but the club members were going for the DRAGONFLIES!! It’s a little drive, but well worth it. You just can’t beat this place for photographing Dragonflies.  Not only dragonflies, but damselflies, butterflies, insects and prairie flowers were in abundance. As you walk the path and boardwalk though the wetland, they are all over, even coming within inches of you. Dixon Waterfowl Refuge was a great location for oustanding nature photography. Click below to see a collection of the wonderful photos the group collected.

Leroy Oakes Outing – June 2021

Six Mayslakers braved the promised hot day for this nature and photo opportunity. Although a gentle breeze caused some issues with marco photography, it helped keep the heat from affecting us greatly.  Our first stop was the pond behind the visitor center, where there we found the Dot-tailed Whiteface Dragonfly in abundance. This Dragonfly is an uncommon species in our area, so it was great find, especially in such numbers. Along with the Dot-tailed, were also frogs, birds, insects, and flowers to photograph.
From there we headed just up the hill to the historic barns of Leroy Oakes. Always great subjects to photograph.
Our next stop was a prairie with a guided tour by Jack Shuba, a surprise treat! The prairie had been planted in the 70’s by a high school teacher and his students and even today, it is still in great condition. There were many prairie flowers for us to enjoy and photograph

Lilacia Park Outing – May 2021

Several MNSPC members got an early start before the crowds and increased wind arrived. They enjoyed a beautiful morning among the colorful tulips and fragrant lilacs at Lilacia Park.

Eggers Grove Outing – April 2021

As a follow up to our April program: Crusin’ Calumet – Where Natural Areas and Industry ClashJessica Becker from FPDCC and Karin Grunow hosted an outing to the far south area of the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPDCC), Eggers Grove in April.

Eggers is a unique habitat, combining dry, wooded ridges where spring wildflowers thrive with long, narrow wetlands filled with sedges, marsh grasses, emergent forbs and waterfowl. Eggers is also considered a birding hotspot.

Illinois Beach State Park Outing
Awesome sunrise! Awesome shelf ice! Shelf ice is a floating mat of ice, but unlike a pond or a small lake that freezes over, the shelf is not a uniform sheet of ice. Created by the wind and waves, the shelf ice is a jumble of ice chunks, pushed onto each other. It is as if you took a pile of rubble and pushed up against a wall.
7 MNSPC members braved the cold to get up at 4am and travel to Illinois Beach State Park to capture the last of the shelf ice before the warmer weather hit.