June 2 – We took on the Des Plaines River Trail again, starting from the Wadsworth Road access and heading north to Rt. 173. We (mainly me) were trying to walk further each time we went out. This was a roundtrip distance of about five miles.
There were a lot of open spaces, sprinkled with stands of oaks. This was about the time that temperatures were starting to rise every day. Not too many insects, either.
It was nice that halfway up, there was a water pump, for horses. Didn’t see any riders that day, but there was evidence that we walked around.
As I walk, besides trying not to die of heatstroke, I try to observe the whole scene and remember advice on photography. Occasionally, I remember to look back to where I’ve been (Look behind you – there might be a better shot!) At Rt. 173, there is a car-parts lot on the west side of the trail. Coming up on that point, I remembered that little nugget and turned around.
To my surprise, there in a tree was a Baltimore oriole! I hadn’t seen one in years, not since Massachusetts, and there was one that I would have missed if I didn’t turn around! I got two out-of-focus shots before it flew off, but I was happy. New addition to my digital bird album!
I think it was on this walk, that I really started watching the treetops for movement, and listening for bird calls. This led to lots of sightings of new birds, and sometimes decent photos, and actually helped the walk go faster and easier – the halts for picture-taking didn’t count as rests, but they helped!
Another new bird for me? This duck and her family was swimming in a small pond close to where we started. I didn’t see a male, though there was an American coot in a tree nearby. I had to come home and look it up – a wood duck! Another new bird for me!