A good stable stretch of weather should aid any Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
And there is stuff going on.
There’s looking for fall mushrooms, fishing for big Chinook on the lakefront, appreciation day at Park Bait, appreciating fall colors at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and a rare chance to tour the Urban Stream Research Center, something I highly recommend.
In hunting, early Canada goose season ends Saturday, while teal, squirrel and dove hunting keeps going.
My plans are a bit different this weekend and week. Of five of us brothers have timing work right so we can spend a weekend with our dad at one of his beloved spots in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania. We start piling in today from four states (Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois and Virginia) and hope be together by this evening. I am on the road.
I look forward to a lot of talk and food, watching of scenery along the Pine Creek gorge and a bit of fishing.
Next week, my one specific thing is to attend the fall restart of the Mayor’s Fishing Advisory Committee meetings on Thursday. Wish I could attend a Hunting Film series Thursday evening, but will not be able to because I am speaking at Fish Tales Fishing Club in Oak Forest. Click here for Fish Tales.
With that, to this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors and the many eclectic options.
MIDEWIN FALL COLORS: There is the annual Fall Color Hike at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Email Midewin_RSVP@fs.fed.us.
CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY: Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor said they expect to have some seminars included in their Customer Appreciation Day, whichis 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. One of the possible seminars might be one by one of the more iconic lakefront characters.
KIDS HOOKED ON FISHING: The second “Get Kids Hooked on Fishing”– 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at Turtlehead Lake in Orland Park–could become the biggest of its kind. Click here for details.
FALL ‘SROOMS: Fall mushroom hunting is underway. It is one of those things that I would like to learn to do.
URBAN STREAM RESEARCH CENTER: There is an open house at Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Urban Stream Research Center at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Here is what you will have in a rare chance to tour the facilities:
Visitors can view the District’s efforts to raise freshwater mussels, federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonflies, and state-endangered Blanding’s turtles, and meet some of the crayfish, insects and fish that call the county’s waterways home. Tour the lab and talk to aquatic wildlife experts about the District’s conservation efforts to expand populations for some of the most endangered animals in the United States.
Call (630) 206-9626 for more information.
HUNTING FILMS: I noticed something interesting from Ducks Unlimited, at least to me, from 6-:9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wilmette Theater: The Northshore Hunting Film Tour. It is $20 general admission.
Click here for more information.
CHINOOK: There’s been enough kings around to keep the dream alive. This is a year where the numbers of kings coming to shore in Chicago are down, but the quality of the fish are good.
EARLY CANADA GOOSE: Season runs through next Saturday, Sept. 15. Trick is finding spots open to hunt. I did notice that harvest is significantly picking up with the dry weather.
I got out last Sunday and the birds flew, but not over us. Well, that is a story for another time, maybe a story for another time.
TEAL SEASON: In Illinois, teal season runs through Sept. 23.
FREE SHEDD: Through Sept. 30, Illinois residents may attend the Shedd Aquarium for free. Also the Shedd is extending its evening programming, aimed at a more adult audience, during September on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Here are the details from the Shedd:
CHICAGO (Sept. 4, 2018) – Fans of Shedd Aquarium’s Jazzin’ at the Shedd series will delight in three new evening offerings from the aquarium throughout the month of September that are all free for Illinois residents. The Shedd After Hours programming expands access to the aquarium for those who might not be able to visit the aquarium during normal daytime hours. With proof of state residence, guests can access the full aquarium until 9 p.m. and enjoy as many evening events as they like, which will feature themed music and custom food/drink menus for purchase:
- Mondays (Sept. 10, 17, 24) – Shedd After Hours: Caribbean Flavors and Flair
o Featuring a special menu of Caribbean-inspired cuisine for guests as they explore the aquarium, including habitats like the iconic Caribbean Reef exhibit in Shedd’s main galleries.
- Wednesdays (Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3, 10) – Jazzin’ at the Shedd: Live Latin Rhythms
o The traditional Wednesday night Jazzin’s, which feature lively music and tasty treats both inside the aquarium and along the lakeside terrace, will take a new, Latin spin with live Latin jazz performers and equally inspired food and cocktails. A list of performers can be found here. Wednesday Jazzin’ will extend into October, with two additional free days/nights through Oct. 10.
- Thursdays (Sept. 6, 20, 27) – Shedd After Hours: House Party
o Inspired by a style of music created right here in Chicago, Thursday nights at Shedd in September will feature house music DJs and tasty bites and beverages to buy as guests take in the Chicago skyline. Local DJs include DJ Jesse Saunders, DJ Terry Hunter and Farley Jackmaster Funk.
The new evening program is meant to entice a broader, more adult audience who might not be willing or able to visit the aquarium during the day or for those who wish to avoid heavier crowds over the weekend.
The nights are an extension of Shedd’s Illinois free days, presented by Ford Motor Company Fund, which provides general admission to all aquarium exhibits and experiences, including the multi-species aquatic presentation, the bold and diverse animals within Shedd’s new special exhibit, Underwater Beauty, daily dive presentations, animal chats and more. These free days for Illinois residents will run from Sept. 4-30.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of Illinois Resident Free Days, Shedd reminds guests that attendance is limited to building capacity. Tickets may be reserved online in advance ($3 transaction fee) or purchased at the door. General admission is not inclusive of the 4-D movie experience available for $4.95 per person.
Additional access programs are offered year-round through a variety of other offerings include free admission to eligible low-income families every day presenting an EBT card via the Museums For All program and to Chicago Park District youth groups and staffs, Illinois school teachers and K-12 groups, first responders, and families with children using Kids Museum Passports available at Chicago Public Library branches. To learn more about these offerings, click here.
TREEKEEPERS: Registration is now open for Openlands’ fall course for its TreeKeepers certification course. It is next on my agenda of things to do, but it will not be this fall. Registration runs through Saturday, Sept. 15.
Classes are held from Sept. 16-Ot. 11 on Sundays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Thursdays 6-8:30 p.m. at Welles Park Field House on Chicago’s North Side. Cost is $128. Click here to learn more and register.
FROG SEASON: Frog season, bullfrogs only, runs through Oct. 15 in Illinois. Daily bag is eight. A fishing license is required and legal means of taking them are “hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net.”
SKYDIVING CHAMPIONSHIP: The 2018 United States Parachute Association (USPA) National Skydiving Championships will be held through Sept. 18 at the Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle.
Here are some details:
The schedule of events/competitions includes (subject to change based on weather conditions):
September 5-7 Vertical Formation Skydiving, Artistic Freeflying and Freestyle
September 7-8 Mixed Formation Skydiving
September 8-12 4-Way Formation Skydiving
September 12-15 8-Way, 10-Way and 16-Way Formation Skydiving
September 15-18 Wingsuit Flying and Speed Skydiving
For more information on making a first jump or to find a skydiving center near you, visit www.uspa.org or call 800-371-USPA.