Saturday, February 7, 2009
Today may have been a historic day for the driftless area blog. We located fox, gray and red squirrels together, just 60 miles south of Chicago. This left us all "smiles"--see above photo.
Red squirrels are only found in a few spots in Illinois, and today we were near one of their known locations. Kankakee River State Park skirts both banks of the river for several miles west of Kankakee. The day began with a walk onto an ice-crusted multipurpose path that ran under Warner Bridge Road. Soon we saw the silhouette of a small squirrel. Then the distinct trill of the red squirrel, the typical vocalization heard in the North Woods and only a few points south. Gray squirrels were plentiful, and we soon added a fox squirrel to the list. The Flux Capacitor, the Wonder Twins, the Ghostbusters' phasers--nothing can compare to the rare convergence of these three species.
To update on the note below, the Kankakee was overflowing its banks but not quite flooding. I suspect this will come soon, though. There was an ice shelf that extended onto adjoining picnic grounds in places. All in all, we hiked about 6 miles, including above a gorge that follows Rock Creek. More photos are here.
Finally, I ask visitors to leave a comment for what we should call this squirrel trifecta. A triple crown? A hat trick? Three the hard way?