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Chicago outdoors: Robin, woodcock nest, outdoor books, forest preserve deer, environment and clock-rhythm

A grape-eating robin, a woodcock nest, ranking outdoor books, a question of deer in the forest preserves and the environment and clock-rhythm come in notes on Chicago outdoors.

A robin, looking rather tough, eating a grape on Chicago’s Northwest Side. Provided photo by Ron Wozny
A robin, looking rather tough, eating a grape on Chicago’s Northwest Side.
Provided by Ron Wozny

Notes come from all around Chicago outdoors.



I would love to blame somebody else or coronavirus, but it was my mix-up (in the print edition of the Sun-Times last Saturday) that had Ron Wozny’s ferocious robin eating a grape—``They love grapes’’—sent with the account of Brian Schlenger tweeting the photo of a woodcock nest in the March snow and this, ``A reminder that even with the snow spring is coming.’’ So here are both photos for our pleasure.

A woodcock nest in the snow in March. Photo provided by Brian Schlenger
A woodcock nest in the snow in March.
Provided by Brian Schlenger

WOTW, the celebration of wild stories and photos around Chicago outdoors, runs most weeks in the special two-page outdoors section in the Sun-Times Sports Saturday. Send nominations to @BowmanOutside on Twitter or Instagram, to Dale Bowman on Facebook or email



Not listing events until gathering restrictions ease.


Remember IDNR sites remain closed.

Today, April 5: Final day, second weekend, statewide youth turkey hunt

Monday, April 6, to Friday, April 10: First south zone turkey season


“My wife and I reside in a suburb north of Chicago. . . . We love to view deer but have not seen any in the last two years. Do you know of any forest preserves in Lake or northern Cook Counties that have deer?” John

A: I suggested Caldwell Woods and that cluster of preserves, but even better suggestions came from the Forest Preserves of Cook County resource management Department of ``Somme Woods or Potawatomi Woods areas, with Baker’s Lake as another option.’’ FPCC communications director Carl Vogel also reminded that FPCC redid its web site and now each location has its own page.


5: My top readings of influence in the outdoors (riffing off Rick Telander’s list of 25 books in sports this week): “The Bear,” William Faulkner’s 1942 novella; “The Nick Adams Stories,” Ernest Hemingway’s posthumous 1972 short story collection; “The Bear,” Galway Kinnell’s 1968 long poem; “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” Annie Dillard’s 1974 nonfiction narrative; “Crow,” Ted Hughes 1970 poetry collection.


“Yet in modern societies, most of us live under an unbending clock-rhythm that ignores the changes and rhythms in the environment and our own bodies. And most of our institutions are designed under this rhythm, too; even those whose main job is supposed to be caring for the environment.”

Alessandra Baltodano Estrada, a documentary photographer/filmmaker and anthropologist, with timely words in the 4,000-word essay, ``A Matter of Time,’’ in the winter 2020 ``Minding Nature Journal.’’