In the middle of January, the woods of McHenry Recreation Area are filled with the green of the parasitic Mistletoe plant. Mistletoe is one of very few plants that are considered by some to be "semiparasitic". This means it appears to have a relationship with the host tree that is beneficial to both the tree and the Mistletoe. The tree shades out its mistletoe companion all summer but provides food, while mistletoe thrives in winter sun and returns the favor when the tree is leafless and unable to carry out photosynthesis. So, for a tree, is mistletoe friend or foe? No one knows for sure, but it is stunning to see the green leaves and translucent berries against the blue winter sky.