Day Two Hundred Four

Wetlands and Park

After returning some items to the Tinley Park Library in Tinley Park, Illinois, my son and I walked extensively around the library and the adjacent Freedom Park. The park and the library have some really pretty wetlands along their border.  The park and library share the area with a Metra commuter lot and pay tribute to the Rock Island train line at the park.

Freedom Park

Our weather has cooled off a bit, and we really enjoyed our time here.  We even had the playground to ourselves for awhile, allowing my son to swing and me to try and capture his exuberance by experimenting with my camera settings.  It went a little better than it has in the past. . .

IMG_0733. . . but I still have much to learn.

Good day, good walk!

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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 One Hundred Sixty-nine

Impromptu Walk

I had a bunch of errands, including a stop at the library, in Tinley Park, Illinois.  Although I’ve been to this library at least a dozen times , I’ve never noticed the wetland area behind the library.  My youngest son and I took an impromptu walk starting on the boardwalk above the wet, low area and eventually wound our way around the library.

It was lovely.

Tinley Park Library WetlandsAlthough not a long walk, it was a good one!

Day One Hundred Sixty-three

Good to Be Back

I could feel it in the air–the storm everyone was predicting was on its way.  I loved the warm winds gustily blowing the humid air around as my son and I made our way around the Isaac Walton Nature Preserve in Homewood, Illinois, today.

I walked here on a beautiful, yet frigid, Day Two with my youngest son and got disoriented here on a mild Day Ten with my oldest son before he headed back overseas for graduate school.  It was good to be back today.

The wildflowers and grasses were beautiful.  My son seemed to like the walkways and bridges over the wetlands and ponds, as he hadn’t been in this part of the preserve before.

We even came upon a deer on the raised wooden walkway as we rounded a bend before he bounded off into the fields.  Thankfully, he stopped long enough that I could snap his picture.

Isaac Walton

Best of all, we got a walk in before the storms came.

Day Twenty-six

IMG_20130126_134130

Time of Walk:  1:30 PM

Temperature:  29° F (felt like 35°)

Weather:  Sunny

My husband’s first words to me this morning were, “Where are we walking today?”  This is one thing that has exceeded my expectations about this resolution–that my family wants to join me on my walks.  My eldest, before he headed back to school, wanted to join me many times as well.  I always enjoy the company.

Today we headed back to the Old Plank Road Trail, a bike and walking path that was converted from an unused railway line.  We started in historic downtown Frankfort, Illinois.  My son and I also started our walk here on Day Eighteen, except that day we headed west and over a cool pedestrian bridge.  Today, we walked from approximately Mile Marker 9.4 east to Mile Marker 8.3 (and back).

OPT Day 26Just east of downtown Frankfort there’s a play area with swings that my son certainly enjoyed having to himself.  The play area opens on to a prairie and wetlands preserve with a separate walk around a small lake.  This area of the trail is lovely.  With it being so close to town and residential areas, it is heavily used by walkers, dog-lovers, runners, and bikers.  The powers that be did this section well!

After a week with bone-chilling temperatures, today’s sunshine and warmer temperatures were a welcome change.  It was a great day for fresh air and a walk! Without this walk-a-day resolution, we never would have thought to do something like this in the winter.

Good day, good walk!!