Spring Time, IL  

TOPIC: Spring time

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Tues, Apr 15 2008 12:30 pm
From: Beth


Yesterday after I got of work at 7:30am (I work 7 on/7 off grave yard
shift) I drove from St. Louis, Missouri to Perryville, Missouri along
route 61 at distance of about 80 miles. The drive was wonderful. The
grass is green and the red buds and serviceberries are blooming (at
this point I thought it dogwoods that were blooming). Along this
route I made 1 diversion and went to the site of the 1st capitol of
the State of Illinois, Kaskaskia. An interesting fact about Kaskaskia
is that one can not get there from Illinois, you have to go to
Missouri to get there. Kaskaskia now lays on a island in the the
Mississippi River where the main flow of the river is east of the
island and a slough is on the west side of the island. Before the
earthqaukes of 1811-1812 Kaskaskia Island was part of the mainland
Illinois with the Mississippi River flowing entirely to the west of
it. There is not much there except a small building housing the bell
that was in the first capitol, a church, and few houses. Unfortunately
the building with the bell is only open on Sundays so I didn't see
anything. There were no trees of any size there as the island flooded
quite often until Illinois built a levee around the whole island after
the flood '93. I did see a blue heron, a pair of mallards, a pair of
coots, and a pair of northern shovelers(?).

From Perryville, Mo I crossed the Mississippi to Chester, Illinois.
Chester is known as the "Home of Popeye". They can popeye spinach here
and the cartoonist, Elizie Crisler Segar, that invented Popeye was
born there. If any of you make it to Chester, my advise is to take
state route 3 south. You will be rewarded with a wonderful view of
the Mississippi River on your right. The state was working on route 3
and had only one lane open so traffic was stopped. I looked to my left
and there was a serviceberry blooming. It was at this point I
realized that it wasn't dogwoods that were blooming but I still didn't
know at this point what it was.

I then went to the rangers office of the eastern third of Shawnee
National Forest in Murphysboro, Illinois only to find that they are
open Tuesday thru Fridays. Fortunately, an employee was stepping out
and asked if she help me. After finding out that I came from St.
Louis we went back in. I was there about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes
talking. It was then I found out that it was serviceberries that were
in bloom. (did you know where they got them name from? It was because
when they started to bloom the ground was thawed enough you could have
a service to bury someone.) From there I collected a bloom off a
maple tree that I am trying to id and drove to an ash that I'm also
trying to id that is south of Carbondale.

From the ash tree I started to head back north towards home. I
stopped at our farm for a couple of things. One and most important,
Morel hunting and second cal'ing my ranger finder. No Morels as of
yet. They are late this year.