Nature Bulletin No. 111 April 12, 1947
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
William N. Erickson, President
Roberts Mann, Supt. of Conservation
Spring is here. Get out into the forest preserves and enjoy it. Wild ducks
are stopping on their northward night to rest and feed in the ponds and
sloughs. You will hear the shrill singing of the spring peeper and cricket
frogs. The robins, bluebirds, meadow larks, flickers and redwing
blackbirds are here, and every day new birds appear. By the middle of
April, some of the early wildflowers should be blooming on sunny
slopes; by May the woodlands will be carpeted with blossoms.
Wear stout walking shoes and heavy socks without holes or wrinkles.
Wear old clothing but not too much, the outer garments preferably of
hard smooth cloth, such as khaki or denim, that last year's burs and
weed seeds can't cling to. Don't load yourself with equipment. Travel
light. If you have a small knapsack, all right.
Otherwise just stick a couple of sandwiches and a candy bar in your
pocket, sling your binoculars and small camera around your neck, if you
have them, and let it go at that.
Get out in the country and walk. But take your time. Be curious. Try
eating the tender blades of green grass, and wild garlic and wild onion.
Chew a leaf from a big pear-shaped bud of a shagbark hickory and taste
the pungent nutty flavor. Stop and examine the wildflowers. If you have
a hand lens or a small reading glass, you will find a wealth of delicate
colors in the heart of a wildflower that otherwise you miss.
Walk quietly. Be Alert. You may see a pair of birds flitting ahead of
you, or a squirrel nibbling on buds in the top of an oak. Freeze! If you
have binoculars, raise them gradually to your eyes; if you have to move
for a better view, do it very slowly and softly; animals are alarmed by
sudden movements. Should you come to a hidden valley with a small
stream, a pond, or a slough, choose a good spot and sit down. Don't
move. Presently the frogs will resume their singing -- first one and then
another. A muskrat may appear. A turtle may raise its head. Birds will
come from all directions. Insects will crawl in the grass and dart
through the air.
Relax and think about how good it is to be alive.
To return to the Nature Bulletins Click Here!
Update: June 2012