Day Three Hundred Forty-one

IMG_2212Brr

It was awfully cold for walking today, but the bright sunny afternoon encouraged me enough to bundle up, grab the camera, and head out. My youngest son joined me.

I wanted to see if the great blue heron that I saw last week in Matteson, Illinois, was still around. We parked again at the village hall and headed over I-57 on Village Commons Drive. I saw a group of robins in the trees next to the paved bike/pedestrian lane, and one actually posed nicely for me. I wonder why these robins are still around, because I would be far south by now if I were them.Matteson Heron IIIf I were a heron, I’d be long gone by now too, but I saw two great blues today and one earlier this week. I hope these giant favorites of mine have a plan, because we’re in the middle of a big cold snap.Matteson HeronGood winter walk–only a couple of weeks left in 2013 and this resolution!

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Day Three Hundred

I-57 Through the Seasons

My husband, youngest son, and I visited the Old Plank Road Trail again today and walked between Cicero Avenue and Central Avenue, in Matteson, Illinois. We also left the trail to take a quick look at Miller Gardens and the adjacent lake, always full of birds.

It’s definitely peak fall, with the grasses and milkweed gone to seed and the trees deep with color.

Old Plank Trail Fall

While I was nearby, I couldn’t help but take a few more pictures of my favorite trail passing under I-57. Since I’ve now taken pictures in each season, I’ve added a collage, “I-57 Through the Seasons” to my Along the Trail page. Check it out!

IMG_1638Good walking!

Day Two Hundred Twenty-eight

Much Better

After a dud walk with my daughter on Day 226, I wanted her to give the I & M Canal another try.  Today we started at the Community Park in Channahon, Illinois, walked under I-55, and continued west for a total 2.3 miles and back.  It was a lovely day along the trail!

I & M ChannahonWe saw signs of beaver activity and watched a heron pull a fish out of the canal. I really enjoyed walking under I-55. It is so low that I could have yelled hello to the truck driver stuck in a traffic jam above.  It’s quite different than I-57 over the Old Plank Road Trail that’s pictured above!

IMG_0961Good day, good walk!

 

Day One Hundred Seventy-one

Silver LindenOde to a Tree Species

I could smell them the minute I stepped out this morning to get the paper.  The silver lindens are in bloom, and although we don’t have any on our property, there are enough in the neighborhood to smell them everywhere.  And that’s a good thing.

I noticed them twice today, on two different walks.  On the first, I walked through town to the bank, post office, and bakery.  Silver lindens line this downtown area and grow right in the sidewalk area with a grate around them.

I love this row of trees.  In the winter, the village puts white lights in all of these trees, making the town festive and inviting on long winter nights.  In the summer, these trees provide shade for walkers on their way to restaurants and other businesses.  While these trees are in bloom, it makes it even more pleasant.

On my way home from town, I snapped a picture of a large parkway silver linden.  I think it may be time to plant one on our property.

On my second walk my youngest son and I, after running an errand, parked at the Matteson Village Hall and walked in the pedestrian and bike lane over I-57.  The adjacent area is lovely wetlands and prairie.  The last two times we walked in this area, it was really cold.  Today, at high noon, it was downright hot.

Matteson Village Hall and BridgeOn the way to and from the car, I noticed yet another grove of silver lindens–not by sight at first, but by smell.  The nose knows!

Good day, good walk!

Day Forty-nine

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Over I-57

Time of walk: 11:15 AM

Temperature:  51° (felt like 43°)

Weather:  Windy, mostly sunny

My youngest, off for the Presidents Day holiday, joined me in walking up over the interstate in the dedicated bike/pedestrian lane on Village Commons Drive in Matteson, Illinois.  It was unseasonably warm but quite windy, which added to the fun of being up over the expressway where the American, State of Illinois, and POW flags were really flapping!

I-57This bridge was erected in 1999 and helped to better connect the new village center with the residential neighborhoods and surrounding areas on the other side of I-57.  A school and community center have been added since near the village center, all accessible now on foot, by bike, or by car.  I have always thought this bridge looked nice from the interstate.  I commend the village for adding flags and an attractive railing to an otherwise boring expressway overpass and especially for adding a bike and pedestrian lane!

Good day, good walk!

Day Seven

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Time of Walk:  2:00 PM

Temperature: 37° F (24 ° Windchill)

Weather:  Sunny

My youngest and oldest sons, both still on holiday break, joined me today in walking from mile marker 2.75 to mile marker 4.0, and back,on the bike trail that was converted from an unused railroad line.  This is my third day on this trail this year (See Days Three and Five).OPT 1.7.13 2

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We started in a retail area, but continued under the interstate and through a remote and beautiful prairie reserve.

It was great to have both of my sons along today.  The youngest goes back to school tomorrow.  I’ll miss his company on these weekday walks.

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Good day.

Good walk.