Look Closely Along The Trail

Dan and I love to walk together.  Sometimes when we are walking we are talking a mile a minute about any topic that is important at the moment.  But sometimes, like yesterday, we stop every other minute to look at an old log, some weird fungi, or try to identify a tree or bird.  So today’s post is not about my backyard, but about yesterday’s Palos forest preserve discovery walk.

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Trail at the Little Red Schoolhouse, with Long John Slough in the distance.  It was a gray, sometimes sprinkling day.  The leaves were almost all down.

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Here are two logs, with the left one covered with fungi and the right one mostly just moss.

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Fungi and moss on a log

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It looks like someone has been sawing logs throughout the forest.  Logs are down everywhere and left to decay.  I am curious about the forest maintenance plan here.  I know there are controlled burns all over the forest preserve in the spring.  The bark is green in a different way on this log.

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Here is a tree that is still standing and covered with moss.

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Moss on fence posts

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We are always looking for Shagbark hickory trees, which I think this one is.  The bark looks pretty green…

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What is the story with this rock?  We are in the moraine valley as the bottom of the area where the rocks pushed down from Wisconsin in the last ice age…

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We passed one other hiker who said he saw a big buck in this part of the trail.  We were talking, so I am sure the buck could hear us and kept his distance.

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I love the color of the big bluestem grass in the prairie.

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I tried taking pictures of damp, decaying leaves.  Not sure it was successful, but it was an idea about looking closer.

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We passed this oak leaf in the clay mud.  Maybe some kind of a red oak leaf?  I am not an expert…

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A downy woodpecker looks for food in a dead tree.

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We noticed a great blue heron across from us a Joe’s pond, busy fishing.  Can you see what it caught?

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Zooming in, the heron was shaking a frog around for a while.  Maybe it was too big to eat directly.  Who knows?

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We stopped by Saganashkee Slough to see if we might see some bald eagles.  I guess they are more common when there is ice on the slough.  All we saw were a lot of gulls.  Are the trees in the back sycamores, another favorite of ours?

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Anyway, we sometimes end our walks with more questions than we started with, but we enjoy looking around at our beautiful, fascinating world.

2 thoughts on “Look Closely Along The Trail

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