Chicago outdoors: Dragonfly, urban monarch haven and salmon as a canary

A neat dragonfly photo, a photo and note about a North Side monarch haven and a comment on California salmon as a canary are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

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A monarch butterfly at Peterson Garden Project in Edgewater earlier this month. Credit: Seth Zimmerman

A monarch butterfly at Peterson Garden Project in Edgewater earlier this month.

Seth Zimmerman

Notes come from all around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


“I was at the Peterson Garden Project in Edgewater [earlier this month] and there were hundreds of monarch butterflies. There were so many it was hard to focus on which one to photograph. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I’m assuming they’re stopping off in Chicago on their way to Mexico. It’s amazing to see this once empty lot turn into a major monarch hub.” Seth Zimmerman

A: I find it inspiring how much people, communities and neighborhoods are doing their part to help, not just with monarchs, but pollinators in general. And, in the case of the Peterson Garden Project, providing fresh produce to food pantries.


Keith Rogers photographed the dragonfly below on an evergreen earlier this month. Jim Phillips, an aficionado of dragonflies and damselflies, agreed that it is a green darner.

A green darner dragonfly on an evergreen. Credit: Keith Rogers

A green darner dragonfly on an evergreen.

Keith Rogers

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).



Sept. 25-26: Joliet, (815) 727-4811

Sept. 30 and Oct. 2: Chicago Heights,

Oct. 2-3: Elburn, . . . Momence, (815) 472-4900


Monday, Sept. 20: Rachel Havrelock, who directs the Freshwater Lab, Bridgehouse Museum on Chicago Riverwalk, free, noon-12:45 p.m.,


Tuesday Sept. 21: Joe Turek, “Boat Maintenance Now and All Year Long,” Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m.,


Friday, Sept. 24: West Suburban dinner, Crystal Sky Banquets, McCook,


Sept. 25-26: Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days, John A. Logan College, Carterville,


“The salmon are basically like a canary in the coal mine, giving you some idea of what’s going on in the freshwater system. As go the salmon, so too go many other species.”

John McManus, who runs the Golden State Salmon Association, on nearly 14,500 spring-run Chinook out of 16,000 to have crossed under the Golden State Bridge that are believed to have died before spawning because of California’s heat and drought, via this article in the Washington Post.

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