Sharing the Path
I am and have been a horseback rider for about 20 years. The trails where I have been riding my horse are in the Poplar Creek Forest Preserve, just west of Schaumburg. There are established trails throughout the forest preserve. Over the past few months, the Cook County Forest Preserve put down limestone on some of the major trails. I spoke with a Cook County Forest Preserve supervisor who told me that this is being done so the trails are multi-use. Now, horseback riders have to contend with people who have no idea of how to act when they approach horseback riders. I have encountered bicycle riders, joggers, hikers, and a woman who was doing a light jog while pushing her baby carriage.
These people need to stop and step aside to let the riders pass or their horses will spook and kick out and someone could get seriously hurt. Horses do this to protect themselves from something they are not familiar with. It seems that the Forest Preserve has left the education part up to the horseback riders! Thank you.
Fuel for Conservation?
We subscribe to Chicago Wilderness Magazine, and eagerly await each issue. We live west of Elgin in Hampshire Township and have set aside a private seven-acre conservation easement surrounding our home. An item in the December 12th Investor’s Business Daily caught our eye:
Grass may prove a better biofuel
We just thought you might be interested. We have a small tallgrass prairie that [conservation organizer] Tom Vanderpoel burns every spring, but the rest of the rural area seems to be disappearing rapidly under asphalt, concrete, and roofs. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the true value of this rich land would be in purposely growing the kind of crop that occurred naturally before corn and soybeans!
Ray & Suzanne Massion
Dear Ms. Bertulfo,
Bernice B. Popelka
To the Editor,
You continue to produce an amazing magazine. Each issue is filled with interesting and important information, but the “Water Demand & Supply” special report written by Jerry Dennis has to be the best I have read on the subject of the Chicago area water issues. Thank you for helping us know and appreciate the wonderful area in which we live and helping us to realize that we must do everything we can to preserve it and, if possible, improve it.
We are so grateful to your magazine! Not even qualified enough to call ourselves official birdwatchers, my family and I very much love learning about our animal friends whether we are traveling (out West, Alaska, the Caribbean) or at home. Living in Lincoln Square, we delight in spotting in our neighborhood a rabbit, a skunk, even the smallest woodpecker or cardinal, even though we aren’t very knowledgeable about animal or bird identification.
This morning (January 6, 2007) when I went into my backyard, there was a large predatory bird sitting in a neighbor’s apple tree. I only spotted it because a neighborhood squirrel was making quite a warning racket. I went back into the house to get our camera to snap our new neighbor and got a blurry picture of the bird [see image at right] before it took gently to wing. While blurry, the picture sure seems to show a barn owl! Thanks to your magazine’s great article on owling in Chicago, I could confirm our spotting was a barn owl (in size, wing pattern as it flew off, and most importantly that cute little grey flat face!!!). We all sure hope our little owl friend likes the neighborhood and stays awhile! Thank you for providing everyone in my home with wonderful learnings to enhance our great Chicago nature moment!
Editors’ Note: With only your photo to go on, we can’t say for sure whether this is a barn owl, a Cooper’s hawk, or the Loch Ness Monster. But reintroduction efforts in DuPage County and habitat restoration all over have resulted in the state-endangered barn owl being seen locally on rare occasion, including all the way in Evanston. So who knows?
Friends of Chicago WILDERNESS Magazine
Michael & Greg Anderson
Mary Jane Maples
These donations help us promote a conservation ethic through quality editorial content and beautiful nature photography. To support Chicago WILDERNESS Magazine, please see our online donations page or send your donation to Chicago WILDERNESS, P.O. Box 5054, Skokie, IL 60076-5054. Also consider a subscription to the magazine, and send gift subscriptions to others. Thank you!