It’s Labor Day weekend, a time to get out and enjoy some summer fun before the fall season arrives.
The headquarters office and education centers will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1 for Labor Day, but forest preserves and recreational amenities like trails and off-leash dog areas will be open regular operating hours on the holiday and throughout the weekend.
Boat rentals at Herrick and Silver lakes return to weekends only after Labor Day and close for the season after September, so hit the waters in a canoe, kayak or rowboat soon. Rentals start at $10 per hour.
Planning a bit of fishing time? Remember, anglers ages 16 and over must have valid Illinois fishing licenses in their possession. If you’re visiting the preserves with a group and not everyone has gear, head to the boat rental areas at Blackwell and Herrick Lake for to borrow a rod and reel.
Anglers have been busy at Silver Lake at Blackwell this week. Highlights include a 30-inch northern pike caught on a slip bobber and a 15-inch largemouth bass caught on a rubber worm.
In wildlife notes, Silver Lake at Blackwell has had a busy beaver active along the northwest shoreline. At Bass Lake at West Branch, rangers spotted 10 cormorants and two kingfishers. At Kline Creek Farm, two sandhill cranes were seen in one of the farm fields.
Kline Creek Farm will be bustling with visitors from far and wide over the weekend during the annual Country Fair, one of its most popular programs. The event is free for all ages on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will see displays of daring, wondrous exhibits from across the globe, a flea circus and much more. The event is free for all ages.
Snapshot: This is one of the more than 20 species of goldenrods that grow in the Chicago region. Goldenrods may be found in many places, from high-quality prairies to areas along roadsides and on the edges of parking lots. Most species bloom from late summer into fall and are often blamed for hay fever and fall allergies. However, ragweed is the real hayfever culprit. Ragweed pollen can be carried long distances by wind, and allergy sufferers may encounter the tiny grains just about anywhere outdoors. Goldenrod pollen’s large sticky grains cannot be carried by wind. The plants are instead pollinated by insects such as bees.