It’s taking me much longer than I expected to go through my photos from last Sunday, so I have decided to post some Great Blue Heron pictures for now and get around to everyone else who obliged my lens, including a few singers, a bit later.
On the recommendation of a coworker, I ventured to Middlefork Savanna in Lake County. I had heard of it, perhaps on the IBET listserve, but because it’s a long drive, Middlefork and much of Lake County remain mysterious to me. It didn’t matter that it was early Sunday morning, it still took me almost an hour to get there. But I think I will have to make more trips north, if they promise to be as worthwhile as this one. I need to go back to see the rest of Middlefork, too. What a very special place it is.
The tract of land is home to a unique ecosystem, with tallgrass prairie, wetlands, woods and one of the best remaining oak savannas in the country. A gravel path that runs the length of the property and is used by bike riders and runners, but it’s wide enough to walk without getting run over. Also, the property is not in a flight path and not close to major highways, like most of Cook County, so it was very quiet, except for an occasional freight train. Not far from the visitor’s center at adjacent Elawa Farm is a mown grass trail that is off-limits to bike-riders. That’s where I went first.
The preserve is named after the Middle Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River, which runs through it.
Click on any photo for a larger view.
More to come from Middlefork Savanna.