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This week’s field notes

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DALE’S MAILBAG

‘‘We were outside every day last year with the exception of two, due to dangerous wind chills. When asked at the end of the year what they liked best, [the children] answer unanimously, ‘‘Outside!’’ We encourage play in the mud, rolling over logs to see what lurks underneath, hikes in the woods and building shelters. Our job is to teach children to love and respect nature, to teach them why it’s not respectful to smash that mushroom to bits and why the trees lose their leaves. .  .  . So much fun! We tap trees in the winter and boil down to maple syrup in the sugar shack, then eat pancakes. The children will have plenty of structure time [from kindergarten through eighth grade]. Let them be children and teach them to love nature and the earth around them. How can we expect them to “save the world” if they don’t love it first?’’ —Cathy Rehr, naturalist, Little Sprouts Early Learning Center, Pilcher Park Nature Center, Joliet

This is part of a longer e-mail, in response to my column last Sunday, from Rehr about some of the doings at Little Sprouts Early Learning Center at Pilcher Park Nature Center in Joliet. It made my week.

Updated: November 16, 2011 1:27AM



BUCK OF WEEK: UNPLUGGED

Ric Granroth took this photo of a buck in his front yard this month in Highland Park with a 100-mm lens on a Canon Rebel EOS T1i. It’s an example of why deer are controversial there. E-mail nominations for BOTW: Unplugged, the weekly celebration of live big bucks around Chicago outdoors, to straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

Oct. 1-2: Lockport,
(815) 723-1978.

FISH GATHERING

Wednesday: Members panel on Chain O’Lakes, Walleyes Unlimited, 7 p.m., Gurnee American Legion, walleyesunlimitedusa.org.

ILLINOIS PERMITS

Tuesday: Final day for the first lottery for the public duck- and goose-hunting area permit program. Apply at
dnr.illinois.gov/duck or dnr.illinois.gov/goose.

Wednesday: Final day to apply for upland game permits.

Thursday: Youth deer permits become available over the counter.

TRAPPER CLASS

Sept. 10: Lindenhurst,
(847) 356-4173.

BIG NUMBER : 10

Boats longer than 50 feet, believed to be a first for that many, at the 32nd annual Michigan City In-Water Boat Show, which ends today at Washington Park in Michigan City, Ind.

THE LAST WORD

‘‘When the jets would go over, the bait fish would scatter and the bass went on a feeding frenzy. That is when we caught one bass after another for the next 10 minutes. The [Chicago Air & Water Show] was a big plus for our numbers!’’ ~ Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass, on fishing the Chicago River downtown and the impact of the jets and airplanes passing overhead last weekend



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