OUTDOORS: Locals and visitors alike are enjoying an early return of the American white pelican, one of the largest birds in North America, that has resurfaced in the Chain O’ Lakes and Fox River areas.
The Lake County Audubon Society will be hosting a talk about the birds that are in the Waukegan Dunes area at 7:30 Monday night on the second floor of the Libertyville Village Hall, 118 W. Cook Street. Speaking at the 90-minute meeting will be Ed Collins, director of land preservation and natural resources for the McHenry County Conservation District.
OUTDOORS: For more than a decade now, I have a winter tradition where I go out on the hard water for the Northern Illinois Conservation Club’s Ice Fishing Derby and Winter Festival at the Thirsty Turtle on Channel Lake, located at the north end of the Chain O’ Lakes.
OUTDOORS: Sometimes art is just smart, it tickles something in your brain, and you go “ohhhhh” “awwww” “neeeat.” Well, this is your last chance to see nature artist Charlie Harper’s work at the Lakewood Forest Preserve’s Discovery Museum near Wauconda through Sunday, Feb. 16. It’s called “Beguiled by the Wild, the art of Charlie Harper.”
OUTDOORS: This weekend is shaping up to be a time for ice fishing and a nice night out to support Pheasant’s Forever Lake County. Saturday night is Pheasant Forever’s fifth annual banquet at the Antioch VFW Hall. Saturday and Sunday are the days of the state’s longest continuous winter festival, put on by one of the county’s oldest independent outdoors groups: The 54th Northern Illinois Conservation Club Ice Fishing Derby and Winter Festival.
Count the crows, sparrows, morning doves, blackbirds, robins, and all your feathered friends that visit your bird feeders and baths on New Year’s Day and become part of the 114th annual Christmas Bird Count.
OUTDOORS: This is one of those times people need to be on the lookout for deer as they drive about their business. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources should be releasing last year’s deer-collision numbers very soon. The trend has been good news.
The Lake Michigan charter-boating season is coming to an end on Thursday, but boy did Augie Ralph and his boat Fishfood score big on a charter that came to them at the last minute.
OUTDOORS: This is a great time to jump into Hike Lake County, the forest preserve’s program that gets you out and about to some forest preserves you may not have explored before.
OUTDOORS: Up in Springsted, Wis., I was hunting walleye with my brothers and a contingent of friends from Antioch who have been opening and closing walleye season on the Lac du Flambeau flowage for more than a quarter-century. We caught way too many of what is referred to as a “cigar walleye” because they resemble those goofy big cigars you used to get at a carnival and I think are still available at novelty shops. When your daily limit is two, these little guys would give you a couple of nuggets of meat. But then ...
t’s that time of year again when the Illinois Department of Natural Resources stocks two Lake County lakes with trout ranging in size from three-quarters of a pound to a pound. Limit is five and all you need is a state fishing license (if you are 16 or older for $15) and an inland trout stamp ($6.50). Proceeds from the stamps fund the stocking program. The season opens on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 6:30 a.m.
The picture you see is one of the things I like about Facebook, even though I always preface admitting my membership on that social medium with, “I had to do it for work.” But I must admit that it offers surprises like this poster from …
OUTDOORS: Join Lake County Pheasant’s Forever on Sept. 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for its fifth annual Family Fun Day where you can see live pheasants up close and personnel and kids get a chance to shoot their vegetables.
OUTDOORS: For years, we would regularly see some bats flying around our backyard and the neighbors’ yards. No creeping-out here because every time they made a pass, I figured they gorged on a bunch of mosquitoes that could no longer gorge on me or the family or neighbors. Bats were my friend. And then there was one. Just one bat.
OUTDOORS: Longtime Antioch Highway Commissioner Mark Ring called to report that despite many years of driving around township roadways, he just recently saw his first woodcock in the wild while driving down Crawford Road, south of Route 173 where it’s still gravel.
OUTDOORS: Like a lot of people, I am intrigued by the efforts being made to boost the whooping crane population that was brought to the brink of extinction through habitat loss and illegal hunting and other factors, going from a low of only 22 birds in the wild in the 1940s to around 599 birds today (captive and wild).