Hedge apples, woolly bears, bowhunting, mushrooms, fall: WWW Chicago outdoors

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Hen of the Woods on Wednesday in Chicagos western suburbs.
Provided by Jeff Norris

Well, it certainly seems like we jumped from the heat of late summer into fall in the span of a couple days.

The fall signs–mushrooms, hedge apples, woolly bears, start of bowhunting, lakefront Chinook–show for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

As to my week, much of my time will be spent focusing on doing previews and prepping for covering the Chicago Marathon, which is Sunday, Oct. 7. Otherwise, I have been doing some deer scouting, though I am not sure how much good it will do me.

With that, to this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors and the many eclectic options.

FALL ‘SROOMS: Fall mushroom hunting is underway. It is one of those things that I would like to learn to do and really have not learned yet.

Jeff Norris texted, “Happy Wednesday,” and the photo at the top of Hen of the Woods (Maitake).

Mushroom of the Week, which runs as warranted on Wednesdays in the Sun-Times, is off to a fine start. Click here to see the one that ran this week. It was a doozy.

Send nominations to straycasts@sbcglobal.net, Dale Bowman on Facebook or @BowmanOutside on Twitter.

First hedge apple of the fall of 2018.<br>Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

First hedge apple of the fall of 2018.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

HEDGE APPLES: Yesterday, on my morning ramble with Lady, our family’s mutt, I came across the first fallen hedge apple of the fall.

There was only the one, so I did not gather it as a gift for my wife. She half believes in the magical powers of hedge apples, the fruit of the Osage orange, and I am happy to collect a platter full of them for her.

It’s a simple thing that pays off.

A crossbow at the ready, a much more common scene in Illinois.Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

A crossbow at the ready, a much more common scene in Illinois.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Dale Bowman

DEER SCOUTING:Bowhunting for deer opens Monday in Illinois. Crop harvest throughout Illinois–through Sunday, corn harvest is 28 percent complete vs 10 last year, soybeans are 17-8–continues at a torrid pace. It should make scouting and early-season hunting more eventful.

I do not have my crossbow yet, but it should be here in time for the rut later next month and early in November.

WOOLLY BEARS: With crop harvest going fast, I am seeing a lot of woolly bears. If you believe in their forecasting power, good luck deciphering meaning this year. I have seen everything from black to blonde. No idea what it all means.

CHINOOK:There’s not many around, but the ones that do show up on the Chicago and Illinois lakefront are big kings.

FALL AT MORTON ARBORETUM: The Fall Color Festival, with a mix of activities begins Monday and runs through October at Morton Arboretum in Lisle. October is also just a splendid time to visit the Arboretum. Click here for more on the Fall Color Festival.

STURGEON FEST: I just caught this the other day in my in-box and it looks interesting. There will be a Sturgeon Fest at Milwaukee on Saturday. Part of the festivities include releasing a number of young sturgeon into Milwaukee Harbor. I just love the idea. Click here for details on Sturgeon Fest.

STURGEON II: Speaking of sturgeon, hook-and-line season on select rivers ends on Sunday in Wisconsin. And this makes too many years since I trekked up to the Wisconsin Dells to catch and release the big prehistoric fish. I need to do that again.

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