Thursday, May 22, 2014

More nature--and industry

This past weekend we continued our nature walks. On Saturday we went to Goodenow Grove in Crete, part of the Will County Forest Preserve District. We hadn't been there for many years and found the nature center greatly expanded with a very helpful and knowledgable naturalist on hand. They have some birdfeeders out back and pipe the birdsong into the center--it's just wonderful.
We walked along a short pond trail and found some new and interesting plants, like Wild Hyacinth, and some old friends. Spring Beauties formed lush rings around the base of nearly every tree.  We asked about a new-to-us plant. It looked rather like an unopened May Apple, but with separate leaves. Turns out it was baby Poison Ivy.

On Sunday the weather was perfect!  We went out to the only Railroad Cloverleaf in America. The cloverleaf works like expressway entrances and exits.  We watched this miles-long (that plural is correct) train go from the west to the north, winding around the curving cloverleaf without having to stop and switch.  The overlook is out at the edge of Park Forest and Matteson and was very interesting. I believe it was a joint venture between Park Forest and the EJ&E Railway (Elgin, Joliet and Eastern).
There were a number of wildflowers and weeds growing. The sight has a long ramp leading up to a lovely overview platform. It has a roof and is shady and high enough for nice breezes.  A gentleman was there with his tiny granddaughter--introducing her to his love of trains. He brought a picnic for them.  We got to talking and it turns out he's from Lansing originally and he and my husband knew many of the same people.  We had a lovey conversation.
This weekend I had more energy (finally, work's been calmer) and I got some chores done, laundry caught up, in addition to our restorative outdoor walks. I also, finally, was able to focus on some needlework.

I've also been delving into family history. My grandfather was a railroad man, with the Norfolk and Western. We recently came across a bunch of pins that were my grandmother's, from the ladies' auxiliary of the main railroading union (I can't recall which one).


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed my catch up here - you've been working on some lovely stuff and how brilliant that the Hardanger corner came together perfectly!! Loving the new header too. :o)

Jenny Woolf said...

I've never heard of a railroad cloverleaf. Must tell Sidney!