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Wild of the Week: Blue heron on muskrat

Marcus Benesch sent this photo of a heron along with his fishing report for the Des Plaines River last week.

Here is the explanation, with twists and turns, from the River Grove man:

I sent the photo of the heron, I believe, because I don’t see many other fishermen on the Des Plaines, which isn’t so bad if you know anything about crowded fishing spots. Usually these large birds are my main competition on the river. But this particular bird had a taste for something different, a small muskrat. I thought he was just being awfully cooperative for my photos till he jumped off the log splashing into the river to scoop a rat out of the water with his bill after before flying away. Not as graceful looking as an eagle swooping down for a trout, but an awesome sight for this lonesome angler up in northern Cook.

There’s a lot of themes in that paragraph, which tie into what i try to do with writing about the outdoors.

Wild of the Week, a celebration of wild scenes and doings around Chicago outdoors, runs on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Sundays, as warranted. As the fall and winter come, I also mix in Buck of the Week: Unplugged, the celebration of live big bucks around Chicago outdoors, on Sundays. Send WOTW or BOTW: Unplugged nominations to