Day Three Hundred Fifty-six

One Less Goose?

We were headed in the same general direction to get a gift card so we stopped for a walk around the Monee Reservoir, a Will County Forest Preserve. Most of the preserve is water, and the Canada geese really like the place. There had to be hundreds when we arrived, and wave after wave of noisy new arrivals landed while we were there.Monee ResevoirThe unpaved trail was quite muddy so we stuck to the paved trail, driveway, and empty parking lot. We enjoyed looking around the preserve which seems, not surprisingly, to be used primarily for fishing.

As we turned to walk towards the large picnic grove, my husband saw two coyotes running across the field, likely looking for a goose dinner. I was lucky to get a few shots!
CoyotesIMG_2437Good walk!

Day Two Hundred Thirty-one

No Coyote Today

Today, my daughter, youngest son, and I walked on the Black Spur and a portion of the Red Trail of the Tinley Creek Trail System of the Cook County Forest Preserve. The spur connects residential Orland Park, Illinois, to the 9.4 mile Red Trail Loop and crosses under busy Harlem Avenue.

We have walked on the Red Trail before. Each time, we have either seen the resident coyote ourselves or heard of a recent sighting from other trail users. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), I can report of no coyote today.

We did see a patch of apple trees and a beautiful field of ironweed, prairie coneflower, and budding goldenrod before heading under Harlem Avenue.

Harlem Avenue Black SpurWe only walked a short distance on the Red Trail before heading back, but eventually I’d like to finish walking the rest of it.  When I do, I think I’d be okay with no additional coyote sightings.

Good day, good walk!


Day One Hundred Seventy-nine



We were going pretty stir-crazy by the time some of the clouds cleared from this afternoon’s storm, so we packed the umbrellas and hit the road.  It would end up being the kind of walk where we alternated between sunshine and big, heavy raindrops with the umbrellas being hoisted and retracted at least three times over the course of our walk.  But that was okay; it was good to be out walking.

My son and I drove back to where we had walked with my husband on Day 144, at Rubio Woods, of the Tinley Creek system of the Cook County Forest Preserve.  This time though we headed west (clockwise) on the Red Trail.  Most of the portion that we walked today ran next to the Midlothian Turnpike.  We crossed both the Turnpike and Ridgeland, because the trail continued diagonally across the intersection.

It was on this other side that we saw him.

CoyoteThe coyote was much more interested in the other human that was standing in the nearby parking lot than he was in us, but he seemed most interested in getting a little rest, because he just sat there.  Thank goodness too!  I’m not sure what I would have done to fend him off, had he headed our way–used our two mini umbrellas as weapons?  We turned around immediately and got out of there.

I did, however, drive back to that parking lot.  We stayed inside the car (windows up), got out the camera and took a few shots of  Mr. Coyote, before he got bored and trotted of into the woods.

Good day, good walk!

Day One Hundred Forty-four

Rubio Woods

We had plans to pick up dinner at a favorite barbecue joint tonight.  With some extra time for a walk first, I picked a trail near the restaurant in the Cook Country Forest Preserve.  My husband, youngest son, and I drove to the Rubio Woods picnic and parking area, part of the Tinley Creek Trail System, and headed out on the Red Loop.  This is the longest trail in the Tinley Creek system at 9.4 miles and an obvious favorite with the bicyclists.

The Red Loop snakes around a five or six square mile swath of land, crossing some major roads at various intersections, but we stayed in the corner near the Midlothian Turnpike.  Rubio Woods borders on the towns of Oak Forest and Midlothian.  Once we started walking into the woods and saw all of the oak trees, it was easy to figure out how the town of Oak Forest picked their name.  What a dense collection of oak trees!Rubio Woods


Once we meandered through the woods, the trail opened abruptly on an open meadow spoiled only by the suburban need for electricity.  In other words, a giant row of high voltage transmission lines cut through here*.  It did give us a nice look at the edge of the forest on our way back.

As we drew near our car, two men on bikes came up behind us and stopped.  They asked us if we saw the large coyote near the edge of the woods.  We told them we had not.  They said they were glad they were on bikes and got through the trail quickly, because it was the biggest coyote they had ever seen.  Since we both wanted to see it, we got in our car and drove deeper into the lot, hoping to get a glimpse of it before heading to the restaurant.  No luck on the coyote, but the brisket was tasty!

Good day, good walk!

*I took WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge on this part of  walk.  You can find it here.

Day Thirty-three


IMG_20130202_140547Time of Walk:  1:30 PM

Temperature:  21° F (felt like 10°)

Weather:  Cloudy with snow flurries

After two days on a treadmill, it was really nice to be back outside and have my husband and son along for the walk!

Today we headed back to the Old Plank Road Trail and walked between approximately Mile 15.6 and Mile Marker 16.4 (both ways).  This portion of the trail is entirely in New Lenox, Illinois.   It passes near their village hall, police station, and library.

Most of the trail here heads through heavily wooded residential areas. We are pretty sure a coyote was ahead of us on the path today!  I was able to snap a quick picture with my cell phone, but I had trouble zooming in close enough; it’s the dark spot near the center of the trail:


The trail at one point takes a little jog around an intersection of two cross streets.  It was after we had just crossed these streets and gotten back on the trail that we noticed the coyote walking ahead of us.  He was heading in the same direction that we were, but kept turning back to check on us.  He left the trail after a few minutes, and we didn’t see him again.  We believe it was a coyote because there have been several reports of coyotes throughout the Chicago suburbs attacking dogs left tied-up and outside alone.  We have had a coyote in our yard as well.

Today, I also noticed a sign for the American Discovery Trail.  This trail goes from Delaware to California and consist of connected trails and walkable streets.  I was aware that the Old Plank Road Trail connects to other trails going west, but did not know about the America Discovery Trail.

Good day, good walk!