IDing a frog and appreciating Norm Minas: Chicago outdoor notes

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Notes from around Chicago outdoors.



Bob France’s daughter Sara found this whitish frog or toad at Fish Lake Beach in Volo. It intrigued me enough to ask Chris Phillips’ take. The senior research scientist for the Illinois Natural History Survey emailed, “Looks like a grey tree frog.’’ Cool.

WOTW, the celebration of the wilds around Chicago outdoors, runs Sundays on the outdoors page as warranted. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (



June 16 and 18: Marengo,

June 25-26: Wilmington,


June 4-5: Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington, (217) 785-8219


June 30: Deadline, second lottery, firearm deer permits. Click here


Tweet: “Where is my best chance to find and pick wild asparagus?’’ John DeVries

A: Best I’ve found are back roads in Will County and points south and southwest, especially near former truck farms or old homesteads. But asparagus picking nears the end, as plants mature into woody stalks. Back roads are also essential for safety reasons.


84: Percent of public water-related fatalities involving people not wearing life jackets, according to data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Operations Center for Water Safety. Men account for 88 percent of the fatalities.


“Good luck finding a cheerful, competent and detailed take on the Kankakee. I don’t know Norm but I dig and appreciate his detail and clear love for fishing the Kankakee. Finding his replacement would be like catching a 60-inch musky in Monroe Harbor.’’

Howard Bass, on Norm Minas taking a breather from weekly ruminations and reports on the Kankakee River

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