Mallard Lake, DuPage County, Illinois
I don't need to visit Mallard Lake to see mallards. Occasionally, they come visit my back yard, invariably a pair, including the drake with his signature green head and the less colorful female. Such pairs can be seen just about anywhere there's water around here, which still includes the nether reaches of my yard, on account of the many rains of April.
But on Saturday I wanted a new walk. It was a good day for it, partly cloudy and in the upper 60s F. Mallard Lake, which is a unit of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, is only a few miles away, but somehow or other I'd never been there. The rest of my family declined to come, so I went by myself, and discovered that places around the lake were a pretty good simulation of being in the middle of nowhere.
It's an illusion. Millions of people live just beyond the range of my camera. Even the lake was popular on Saturday. The parking lot at the entrance was half full with cars, mostly belonging to the numerous recreational fishermen and -women lining Mallard Lake. According to the forest preserve district leaflet, "The 85-acre namesake Mallard Lake is the District's largest recreational lake. It features largemouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, crappie, northern pike, and two wheelchair-accessible piers." (Never heard of that last kind of fish; sounds like a tough business to haul them in.)
So many fish. Either you have the soul of a fisherman or you don't, and I don't, so I walked the length of the trail around one of the two lobes of the lake, about a mile and a half all together, including two bridges connecting small islands in the lake with each other and the shore.
The land is making the transition from the browns of winter.
To the greens of summer.
Labels: nature reserves