The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

July 21, 2013

Boys, berries unchanged through time

When I was walking the dog, I came upon two boys standing under a mulberry tree on the old railroad right-of-way. One of them had a few mulberries in his hand and he asked if they were “safe” to eat. I told him I had never had any ill effects from eating them. He and his friend stripped a number of berries from the lower limbs and seemed to thoroughly enjoy them.

The narrow strip of land where the trains once ran is also home to a few raspberries, blackberries, wild strawberries, and dewberries. In their 1991 publication, “The Prairie in Vermilion County,” Marilyn F. Campbell and Doris L. Westfall identified more than 60 native prairie plants they had observed on the small strip of right-of-way east of the village of Bronson. The Vermilion County Conservation District obtained a garden lease on the property in the 1970s to protect the native plants, but they continue to struggle against invasive Eurasian species and chemical spray. The last stand of Prairie Blazing-Star failed to make an appearance in 2012.

As I watched the two boys walk away, I thought of their counterparts who would have been here when the rail line was new nearly a century and a half ago. Even in their dreams, they wouldn’t have pictured the miracle of the cell phone one of the boys I met was carrying. But they would have known all the fruit trees and berry bushes; where a persimmon tree grew, where to dig sassafras root, and which crawdads made the best fish bait. They would have known the seed pods of the rail-line burdock plant would cling together and could be fashioned into images of animals by children. They might have been aware purple pokeberry ink could be made from the berries of the ungainly pokeberry plant. According to folk lore, the Declaration of Independence was written with pokeberry ink.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ice cream social set

    July 25, 2014

  • Meal to help fire chief

    July 25, 2014

  • No Headline Provided Illinois lottery (Friday) Pick Three-Midday: Pick Three-Evening: Pick Four Midday: Pick Four-Evening: Lucky Day (day): Lucky Day (eve): Lotto Jackpot: Indiana lottery (Friday) Daily Three-Midday: Daily Three-Evening: Daily Four-Midday: Daily Four-Ev

    July 25, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 25, 2014

  • Grant enhances library garden DANVILLE — This summer, more children will have the opportunity to experience wildlife in the Children’s Wonder Garden at the Danville Public Library.This is thanks to a $1,213 grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois. The

    July 25, 2014

  • Pet event to benefit area shelter HOOPESTON — Here’s your chance to help homeless animals while having a good time.

    July 25, 2014

  • 'Oz' event supports literacy, Danville Library Foundation DANVILLE — The Danville Library Foundation announces its From Page to Stage: Vol. IV “Oz.”This year, the event will take audience members to “Oz” with two special celebrations. There will be the “Oz” concert and Emerald Ball and concert preview.At 3

    July 25, 2014

  • librarygreeting2.jpg Library sends to others: 'Greetings from Danville' DANVILLE – Library officials are asking children and adults to be a part of two library programs that ask them to send greetings to other towns named Danville around the country and “How do you Library?”Through Aug. 15, Danville residents can tell ot

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • East Main Street study continues DANVILLE — With the East Main Street construction finished, local representatives continue to meet to discuss the future of one of the main corridors in the city.A stakeholders group, including representatives from Danville Area Community College, th

    July 25, 2014

  • Varying subsidies worry consumers MIAMI — Linda Close was grateful to learn she qualified for a sizable subsidy to help pay for her health insurance under the new federal law. But in the process of signing up for a plan, Close said her HealthCare.gov account showed several different

    July 25, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad
Must Read