Sunday, October 21, 2007

Return to Meacham

This October has been like the Octobers of my youth, down closer to the Tropic of Cancer -- warm a lot of the time. Today was nearly 80 degrees F., windy and sunny. So we visited a forest preserve not too many miles from home, Meacham Grove. We last visited there in the fall two years ago, as described for the October 25, 2005, posting.

It didn't seem as colorful this time around. That could have had something to do with this year's weather, or just be because last time it was cool and cloudy and this time warm and sunny, which doesn't go with fall coloration. But we had a good walk. The wind blew the tall grass and masked the noise from the nearby roads.

Later, not wanting to return to the indoors quite so soon, we visited the Volkening Heritage Farm, which is part of the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary in Schaumburg. Pinned in a yard next to the recreation of an 1880 farmhouse were some enormous geese. Here they are:

They were focused on one thing, eating. The fact that we haven't had a frost yet must make the ground a non-stop bug buffet for these birds, and they're welcome to it. This is the house they were next to, along with the fence that kept them in:

Inside the house, there were costumed interpreters. One of them, when asked about the geese, said that they were kept behind the fence so the coyotes wouldn't get them, and it turned out he wasn't talking about pretend late 19th-century coyotes, but real, bird-eating 21st-century coyotes, here in Schaumburg. He seemed to be serious. I had no idea that species revitalization had been so successful in that case.


At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know that you could say that the coyote populations have been revitalized. That suggests the operation of human intent. Humans very obligingly cleared most of the country of wolves during the last two centuries and thereby opened up a niche for coyotes in parts of the country they hadn't previously inhabited, but they've taken advantage of the situation without any additional help. ANK


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