So to the north of Sterling Lake, the trail links up with the Des Plaines River Trail. On the corner stood a huge oak and we heard lots of bird calls out in the field around it. Lots of little birds flitting around. I took a lot of shots to try and identify them – it was a large flock of cedar waxwings, with goldfinches and a little yellow bird that I got in a blurry photo. Possibly a yellow warbler.
Heading north to the trailhead, the landscape was open with oaks, and a lot of plowed farmland. At one point, we saw two birds flying over – first thought was they were herons, but they didn’t look quite right. Sandhill cranes!
I liked the landscape here. I could almost image Native Americans walking across the prairie!
We got to the trailhead, so I had to take a picture. I’ve tried to get a photo of each mile marker I’ve walked past, but I think I’m missing one or two; I know I forgot to get Mile 2 for sure here in Van Patten Woods.
Still saw another bird I hadn’t see before, an eastern kingbird! He looked regal sitting out on that branch!
Finally, just to show how dry it was, this is from a footbridge over the Des Plaines River. It was very, very low at this point, with just a small channel draining south. The bridge the car is on is just north of the Route 173 bridge, which you can see in the flood pictures of this post. It just amazes me how different the river can be, and how much water changes throughout the year.
And thus ended our walk through Van Patten Woods!