Caption: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1896
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BIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT STATION.
a considerable size, extending in a rather ragged line, offer a very welcome sshade at the foot of the bluff: at about high-water mark. An abundant sup* ply of very pure and delightfully cool water is easily reached everywhere, either in running springs or by driving down an iron pipe for a few feet in the sand and screwing on a common cistern pump. The occasional narrow, swampy flats along the eastern bank of Quiver Lake and beside the river between that lake and the town, are usually tangled thickets of underbrush and swamp-land trees, which at certain seasons of the year are gay with multitudes of flowers and vocal with the songs of a great variety of birds. The general aspect of the flora of the sandy Muffs is quite unusual for Illinois, many plants occurring there abundantly which are rarely seen in ordinary situations. The bottom-lands become covered in late summer and autumn with an immense growth of composite plants, setting the intervals and recesses of the forest ablaze with yellows, purples, and reds, and loading the air with the heavy odor of the upland Eupatorium. This forest itself, beginning at the water's edge with a billowy belt of pale green willows, is an untamed tract of primitive wilderness, differing from that through which the Indian hunted his prey only by the absence of the small percentage of its growth which had a commercial value. Subject to periodical overflow, it has not even been fenced. Elms a n d pecans and sycamores tower overhead or slowly moulder where they fall, and vines and creepers clamber over the underbrush in a growth like that of a semi-tropical jungle. The shallow lakes and swamps are glorious in their season with the American lotus and the white water-lily, the former sometimes growing in tracts of a hundred acres or more, over which its gigantic peltate leaves, borne on tall slender stems, flash in the sun as 4;hey bend to the summer wind. In July and August many of the lakes are nearly filled with submerged vegetation, and in the latter part of the season r film of the duckweeds forms along the shore and floats in large patches & *down the sluggish current of the stream. Water-fowl abound at the period of 1;heir migrations, and fish lie on the shallows, basking in the summer sun i n numbers such that dozens may be seen at a time as one floats along in a Iboat. The microscopic life of the water is equally varied and abundant, a measurement of the quantity present in a cubic meter of water showing that with a single reported exception* it is at certain times far in excess of the amount recorded for any other situation in the world. The variety of species present is equally remarkable. The list of those occurring in a single cubic meter of water from the river at Havana in the month of July contains about twice as many as any of the lists of those found at the same time in the lakes •of northern Germany or in our own Great Lakes. The bluff beyond the bottoms to the west is higher than that on the east, and usually of a very different character. Strata of carboniferous rock, sometimes containing veins of coal, outcrop locally near their base, while the
*Dobersdorfer See, Holstein.
—20 U. I.