Sunday, April 7, 2013

Finally! Spring!

We FINALLY had some close to normal weather this weekend so Mommy and I got out early today for a hike.  We drove down to the southern end of the river hike that I like so much and hiked for 4 hours, with a 45 minute break in the middle.

Here I am ready to start. You can see how happy I am to finally have a good day and clean trail to hike on.

We saw a lot of burned stumps.  They also stunk of herbicide.  The trail has a problem with buckthorn and they try to control it by chopping it down, burning the stumps and then applying herbicide around the charred stump.

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This is the 1/2 way point.  This is a vernal pool and the sound you hear are the chorus frogs.  Mommy and I were going to eat at the bench by this pond, but there were people on it.  Grrrrr.

So we turned around and went back to the previous bench to eat lunch.  Mommy read for 45 minutes and I took a nap.

Mommy took a picture here because this spot used to be great big trees, but then when we had the storm that knocked over my squirrel tree all the big old trees here got knocked over too.  Now this spot seems to have decided to become prairie.

OMD! Look what I found on the trail!  What is a crawdad doing on a trail?  When I tried to sniff her she stood up and threatened me with her pinchers.  

Here she is bigified. She had a whole tail full of eggs and was trying to get to the other side of the trail.  Mommy was worried she'd get run over by a bike and couldn't believe she was trying to leave the swamp on one side for the prairie on the other so she scooped her up in a poop bag and carried her back to the swamp side.  The crawfish turned right around and started walking towards the prairie side again so Mommy picked her up AGAIN and carried her to the prairie side and the crawfish happily headed off into the dry prairie.  Weird.


We stopped when we were about a 1/2 mile from the car to watch this bird fish.  We think it is some kind of grebe, but we aren't sure.

Here it is bigified so you can see what a great meal it caught!

We got back to the car and I fell asleep as soon as Mommy started driving.  It was a great 5.5 mile hike.

3 comments:

Johann The Dog said...

Cool hike Merlin!!! We got you up on hikingdogs.net! http://www.hikingdogs.net/2013/04/des-plaines-river-trail-lake-county-il.html

Super thanks for the submission and for the cool photos of that crawfish!

KB said...

What a great hike! I'm glad that you and your mom had such fun and saw so many cool things. The crawdad was very cool and the photo of the duck with the fish was amazing!

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

Merlin - that is pawsome the things you seened. And you hiked ofur 5 miles? That means you is feeling better and can hike more again? Super pawsome!