“I want you to know that this is why I’ve always believed so deeply in a better kind of politics, in part because of what I learned here in this legislature. Because of what I learned traveling across the state, visiting some of your districts, before I was running statewide, before I was a U.S. Senator; learning all the corners of this state—this most-representative of states. A state of small towns and rich farmland, and the world’s greatest city. A microcosm of America, where Democrats and Republicans and independents, and good people of every ethnicity and every faith shared certain bedrock values.” —President Obama to the Illinois General Assembly on the ninth anniversary of his announcement for President. Here’s his old office as a State Senator in Springfield.

flickr

1969 Chevy Camaro SS by Chad Horwedel

8

Illinois has so much to offer botanists. From prairies to gorges and even cypress swamps, you will be amazed at the splendor and diversity of this region. This week on the In Defense of Plants Podcast I talk to Chris Benda, a man who has dedicated his career to showcasing the floral diversity of this unique Midwestern state.

flickr

1933 Ford Pickup by Chad Horwedel

flickr

1930 Ford Model A by Chad Horwedel