Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I made the 207-mile journey to Springfield, Ill., yesterday. The majority of the route uses I-55--basically from Lake Shore Drive to the outskirts of Springfield itself. The highway cuts across the Southwest Side of the city, continues along a heavy industrial corridor and the Ship and Sanitary Canal before encountering the distribution centers and nondescript warehouses of Bolingbrook, Will County and the I-80 corridor. South of 80, the landscape opens up, from farmland to restored prairies and woodlands. It was a bright, sunny day and everything was sort of a brownish yellow color from horizon to horizon--the fallow fields, the turf grass, prairie grass, everything was the same drab color. There were a lot of raptors, from dozens of red-tailed hawks and kestrels to an osprey hanging out by a small farm pond. The highlights from today--another bright day--included a rough-legged hawk flying low over a field near Normal, and many more red-tailed hawks.