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IDing a frog and appreciating Norm Minas: Chicago outdoor notes

Notes from around Chicago outdoors.

FIELD NOTES

WILD OF THE WEEK

Bob France’s daughter Sara found this whitish frog or toad at Fish Lake Beach in Volo. It intrigued me enough to ask Chris Phillips’ take. The senior research scientist for the Illinois Natural History Survey emailed, “Looks like a grey tree frog.’’ Cool.

WOTW, the celebration of the wilds around Chicago outdoors, runs Sundays on the outdoors page as warranted. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (straycasts@sbcglobal.net).

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

June 16 and 18: Marengo, mchenryilhs@gmail.com

June 25-26: Wilmington, hunteredsignup@aol.com

WINGSHOOTING CLINICS

June 4-5: Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington, (217) 785-8219

ILLINOIS PERMITS

June 30: Deadline, second lottery, firearm deer permits. Click here

DALE’S MAILBAG

Tweet: “Where is my best chance to find and pick wild asparagus?’’ John DeVries

A: Best I’ve found are back roads in Will County and points south and southwest, especially near former truck farms or old homesteads. But asparagus picking nears the end, as plants mature into woody stalks. Back roads are also essential for safety reasons.

BIG NUMBER

84: Percent of public water-related fatalities involving people not wearing life jackets, according to data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Operations Center for Water Safety. Men account for 88 percent of the fatalities.

LAST WORD

“Good luck finding a cheerful, competent and detailed take on the Kankakee. I don’t know Norm but I dig and appreciate his detail and clear love for fishing the Kankakee. Finding his replacement would be like catching a 60-inch musky in Monroe Harbor.’’

Howard Bass, on Norm Minas taking a breather from weekly ruminations and reports on the Kankakee River