The Chicago Tribune's Outdoor Advisor recently printed a list of the hidden gems in the Chicago area, as chosen by area nature enthusiasts. Unfortunately, I haven't been to any of these places. Camping and the desire to get well away from the city has drawn me to areas farther afield. One in particular caught my eye:
Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve, southeast of Elgin at the south edge of Bluff City Cemetery: "It's a rare calcareous fen-water seeps through the dolomite rock and it turns everything alkaline. It's really a beautiful place, and it changes week to week. There are brooks there, with a little charming stream, and rare fish and rare butterflies." -Joseph Rakoczy, a supervising civil engineer with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
In my brief experience writing outdoors stories for a newspaper, a reader wrote a letter to me after I detailed the Saint Mary's Wilderness in Virginia. The complaint was that I had spoiled a quiet place by publicizing it in the paper. I disagree because the chances hordes are going to overrun an area 100 miles away are unlikely. Out of the sliver of the populace who read the article, only an even slimmer percentage would actually take action. Something to ponder, though, while writing about natural areas.
In other news, a crow remarkably returned last night to roost outside our window. It's been a couple months, at least, since seeing one.