Chicago outdoors: Owl fledgling on North Side, more blue snow, blue catfish, Hemingway

A photo of an owl fledgling on Chicago’s North Side, more on blue snow, Illinois’ blue catfish record and a quip from Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Owl fledgling on North Side, more blue snow, blue catfish, Hemingway
 A great horned owl fledgling at a North Side park. Credit: Paul Vriend

A great horned owl fledgling at a North Side park.

Paul Vriend

Notes come from all around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


As usual, Paul Vriend came through with a beautiful photograph this time of a great horned owl fledgling hopping from tree to bush at a Northside Park.

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. To make submissions, email ( or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).



Tuesday, March 30: Lake Michigan Public Fisheries Seminar, free, registration required at, 6-8:30 p.m.


Wednesday, March 31: Woodchuck season ends

Thursday, April 1: Heidecke Lake reopens . . . Smelt netting in Chicago opens

Next Saturday, April 3: Spring trout opens (except at Forest Preserves of Cook County sites)

Next Saturday, April 3, to April 4: Second youth spring turkey season


“While walking home [in Glencoe] from the train one early evening, I chanced upon some blue snow occurring in a line west on the parkway, I wondered, but then I heard a plane going overhead to O’Hare. Then I thought, could planes be evacuating their toilets before landing? . . . I didn’t want to think about that. Could Al Silcroft live under a flight path?” Vince Hall

A: God, I hope not. I prefer to think the blue snow is from rabbits and deer eating buckthorn under duress, as suggested last week in the response to Silcroft’s observation. Click here for Silcroft’s original observation.


124: Pounds o Tim Pruitt’s blue catfish, heaviest Illinois record fish and former world record, caught May 21, 2005 from the Mississippi River near Alton.


“Anyone can be a fisherman in May.”

Santiago in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”

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