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This week’s field notes

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DALE’S MAILBAG

Loved your rant about mowing lawns in the Sun-Times! We’ve been pushing against mowers for years now, and here’s why: illinoismushrooms.com/neighborhood Fungi.html. As a rule of thumb, my co-author (Greg Mueller of the Chicago Botanic Garden) and I tell people never to pick mushrooms on those perfect, chemically enhanced lawns, the ones people mow with diagonal cuts. Otherwise edible mushrooms can concentrate toxic lawn chemicals and render once-edible mushrooms poisonous. —Joe McFarland

McFarland, co-author of Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States, has an amusing but serious take on why mushroom picking is better on lawns with laissez-faire care. On a broader scale, I couldn’t be more serious on how we overdo lawn care in the United States. Somehow we lost our way.

Updated: October 29, 2011 12:35AM



BUCK OF THE WEEK: UNPLUGGED

BOTW: Unplugged, the weekly celebration of live big bucks around Chicago outdoors, begins early with a trail-cam shot from Ford County. David Kroon of Savoy sent two shots of this buck. This, the second photo, appears to be after the camera alerted the deer. E-mail nominations for BOTW: Unplugged or Wild of the Week to straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

KIDS OUTSIDE

Fishin’ Buddies! and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County hold Kids’ Fest 2011 — canoeing, archery, fishing — at Wampum Lake in Lansing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. There is no cost, but you must register at
kidsfest2011.eventbrite.com.

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

Aug. 18 and 20: Harvard, registration begins Friday, call (815) 482-5844 after 6 p.m.

BIKING

Saturday: “Tour de Fat’’ includes a “costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eye-popping ­entertainment, local food, crazy bike ­contests,’’ Palmer Square, Chicago, beginning at 9 a.m., newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat.

FISH MEETING

Thursday: Guide Darrell Baker, Riverside Fishing Club, LaGrange American Legion Hall, 7 p.m., RiversideFishingClub.com.

PADDLING

Saturday: Iroquois River, Rensselaer, Ind., 6.5-mile paddle on quiet, gravel-bottomed stream. Make reservations at (773) 704-2663 or info@chicagoriverpaddle.com.

ARCHERY TOURNAMENT

Next Sunday: American Round, Washington Park Chicago Archery Club, practice begins at 9 a.m., lincolnparkarcheryclub.org/events.html.

BIG NUMBER: 1,200+

Citations and warnings issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ conservation police officers, including arrests of 25 boaters for operating under the influence, during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

THE LAST WORD

“Cutting spending on the Great Lakes won’t save money. Problems like ­outdated sewage treatment, algal blooms and invasive species are getting worse and become more expensive to correct with every day that we wait.’’

Jeff Skelding, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, on the slashing to
$250 million in the House Interior Appropriations ­budget for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which was $475 million in the first year



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