Picked my first raspberry of the summer this morning. It just makes me happy and puts me in the right mind set for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
As you might have noticed, weather has been a little goofy, but it looks like it will settle down for the weekend. We’ll see.
Otherwise, I hope today to get in the final of three free days at the Field Museum with our youngest son. The two of us also need to get in some frog hunting, which has been delayed by weather and family stuff.
Otherwise, I am a little open in what I might do this weekend outside. Next week, my wife and I are getting away for a few days and I plan to visit the Heddon Museum, something I probably should have done years ago. And yes, that will be a subject of an upcoming column at some point.
With that, on to this Wild Weekend Wandering.
CLIMBING AND BEER: No, I am not making this up. Coors Light has “Wall to the Wild: A Coors Light Climbing Event (21+)” with free climbing and beer from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Maggie Daley Park Rock Wall.
Here are a few tidbits to know:
Guests can then follow up their climb with some refreshing Coors Light, food and custom gear that cannot be found anywhere else!
Participants MUST be 21+ to attend. Please being a valid driver’s license or state issued ID.
Click here for more information and to register.
BERRY PICKING: Mulberries are falling or being picked all across the area. But this morning, I picked my first raspberries. However, I do live south, so adjust timing according. But berry-picking time is here.
LAKEFRONT PERCH: Sort of like the weather, perch fishing on the Chicago lakefront has been up and down. But when it is good, it is really good. And considering what the rivers are like this weekend, trying for perch is probably a top fishing option.
WATER ALERTS: Weather does matter this weekend, especially if you’re a river fishermen. First of all, if a river fishermen, better be planning on fishing tight to shore or flooded shoreline cover.
All area rivers are high or flooded. The Fox River is closed to boating from the Stratton Lock and Dam to the Montgomery Dam.
The Chain O’Lakes/upper Fox River areas are no wake from the Stratton Lock and Dam to the Wisconsin line. I would note that fishing the Chain in no-wake can be very productive and also free of other watercraft.
Click here to check updates on the Fox and Chain here.
POND FISHING: Even ponds are high, but we are in prime time for fishing local ponds. Considering how the frogs are croaking along our local town pond, I think I am near the point where I need to get in some time fishing an imitation frog, one of my favorite times of the year.
FROG SEASON: Frog season is open in Illinois. I had hoped to get out by now with our youngest son, but the weather and family stuff has prevented that so far.
Here are the regulations from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:
FROGS (Bullfrogs Only)
Methods of Taking and Capture
A sport fishing license is required to harvest bullfrogs.
Bullfrogs may be taken by hook and line, gig, pitchfork,
spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net.
No person shall harvest bullfrogs or any other
reptile or amphibian by commercial fishing devices,
including, hoop nets, traps or seines or by the
use of firearms, air guns or gas guns or during
All other species of unprotected reptiles and amphibians
(excluding common snapping turtles and
bullfrogs) may only be taken by hand. This shall not
restrict the use of legally taken reptiles or amphibians
as bait by sport fishermen.
Any captured reptiles or amphibians which are not to
be retained in the possession of the captor shall be
immediately released at the site of capture, unless
taken with a lethal method (such as bow and arrow,
gig, spear, pitchfork) which does not permit “release
with no harm”. All such taken common snapping
turtles and bullfrogs must be kept and counted in
the daily harvest. No culling of such taken species
is permitted. No person shall harvest or possess any
species of reptile or amphibian listed as endangered
or threatened in Illinois (17 Ill. Adm. Code 1010
except as provided by 17 Ill. Adm. Code 1070).
Bullfrogs may be taken only between June 15 and
October 15, both dates inclusive.
Daily Harvest and Possession Limits
The daily Harvest limit for bullfrogs is 8 with a
possession limit of 16.
For indigenous amphibian and reptile taxon,
which may only be taken by hand, (excluding
common snapping turtles and bullfrogs) the
possession limit is 8 collectively with no more
than 4 per taxa.
OPENLANDS TREEKEEPERS COURSE: Registration runs through July 9 for Openlands TreeKeepers course. I have wanted to do this, but will not be able to do this one. This summer course will run 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 10-Aug. 2 at Arlington Heights Public Works. Cost is $128.
Click here to register and for information.
FIELD MUSEUM FREE DAY: Today is a free day for Illinois residents at the Field Museum. Click here for details. Hoping to get there this afternoon.
MIDEWIN: The seasonal guided tours at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie run weekends through October. The Ranger Trailer is open weekends, weather permitting, at the Iron Bridge Trailhead. Trails are open daily 4 a.m.-10 p.m. For a complete list of events and programming go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd535052.pdf.
ZOO TURNS 150: The Lincoln Park Zoo has the exhibit, From Swans to Science: 150 Years of Lincoln Park Zoo, through the summer. Click here for details and much more information.