Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Bees to birds: Wild Sunday a bit off on a Monday

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Change sneaks in, though it never really seemed like summer arrived.

Summer came more for brief visits, then was chased off by violent weather.

flowerbee8-08-08

So I was surprised last week to see sunflowers towering some 8 feet high with big bold flower heads in the strip flower bed on the west side of the house.

The youngest boy had received them as part of a preschool project.

I looked closer at the heads and saw bees working hard.

Looking closer is always good.

Traditional dates are all screwed up, but change makes its annual visit, a bit off time like a daffy relative ringing the bell hours after a family gathering.

Fishing never really settled into summer patterns until a couple weeks ago.

Traditionally, wheat harvest is around July 4, though much of it was later this year.

I was caught off guard last week by dozens of doves sitting on the wires along a back road.

Duh, there were wheat fields, which had been harvested late, on both sides.

The kids love chasing fireflies, but numbers seemed down this year, whether because of the cool weather or for some other reason.

Bats have been in good supply. I feel fortunate that my kids don't freak at bats and we can watch them dart near our heads as evening settles into night.

And I feel fortunate that my kids don't freak about toads they find hopping around my vegetable garden. My only problem there is making sure they put them back. They have an impulse to want to save them, put them with some pulled grass in a jar.

It's an impulse I understand.

Last week, for the first time this summer, I was treated to several nighthawks diving through the air as night thickened as I picked up the yard.

Looking close has its rewards as the change comes.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 11, 2008 6:14 AM.

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