Sunday, April 19, 2009

Late Saturday Morning at Busse Woods

Saturday: Model spring day, clear and in the 70s. Sunday: Rain and drizzle all day, with about 30 of the previous day's degrees shaved off. But at least I made it to the 3,700-acre Ned Brown Forest Preserve, also known as the Busse Woods, on Saturday to walk another length of the "bicycle" trail. "Bicycle, runner, rollerblader, walker, equestrian, cross-country skier and possibly unicyclist" trail would be a fuller description, but wouldn't fit so well on trail-side signs. (One of these days, I'm bound to see a unicyclist.)

So far, I've walked about five miles of the 7.7-mile Red Trail Loop at one time or another, half of the two-mile Black Trail and none of the 1.1-mile Purple Trail. Mostly I only have time for two miles or so at one go, one mile away from wherever I parked and one back. I've been on the trails in all seasons, with a preference for warm months, naturally. It isn't quite a rustic experience -- jets fly over regularly, headed to O'Hare -- but it's definitely apart from the surrounding suburbs.

On Saturday I went from Groves 26 & 27 to Grove 32, crossing over the small dam on Salt Creek that creates the fair-sized Busse Lake. Anglers were thick on the pedestrian bridge over the dam, with more on the edge of Salt Creek below. Happy anglers, these fellows, standing among their gear and coolers and night-crawler buckets, minding their poles and likely nursing secret beers.

Few trees have sprouted leaves just yet, but they're aching to. Here and there bushes have taken the lead in greening up, and the grass blades and clover and other underfoot plants are already there. I spotted a grass snake and heard frogs. All kinds of birds are out and about, making all kinds of noises, all part of making baby birds, I figure. Bugs are few in number, but there must be some, to feed all the sex-crazed birds. Luckily, none of them are mosquitoes just yet.



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