Ballots, Babes and Beer

Construction on the museum’s fall voting exhibit “Ballots, Babes and Beer” has officially begun! In addition to being a presidential election year, 2012 marks the 99th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in Illinois.

The new exhibit will celebrate the anniversary and highlight stories of men and women on both sides of the issue. Also discover how the Civil War and alcohol influenced the women’s suffrage debate that resulted in a dramatic political showdown in Springfield.

Although new and exciting changes are afoot, there’s still time to see the summer kite exhibit before it is replaced. The kite exhibit runs through August 10. The lower gallery is expected to reopen with the voting exhibit on September 7. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Wildlife Wednesday!

Today’s Wild Wednesday walk and talk theme was bats, but no one actually saw any since they’re nocturnal creatures. However, we did see other neat animals including barn swallows that made their home on a park shelter wall at Rylko Park.

These birds like to live in open, uncrowded areas near a water source. They build extraordinary nests made of mud and vegetation high up on the walls of barns or sides of trees.

Then on our walk, we saw the remains of a coyote’s dinner on the trail: a severed tail of a dead opossum… then tufts of hair… and  finally a pile of bones and puddle dead opossum muck. The kids loved it!

Finally, we rounded off the walk with tall yellow wildflower and dragonfly sightings. Join us for next week’s free walk and talk about birds at Willow Stream Park at 10.30.