A tiger swallowtail butterfly was making its way...slowly...across a creek bed at the Trail of Tears State Forest.A crossword puzzle awaited on the porch swing...the raccoon appeared to be giving it some thought...Not sure I had seen this before...herons (at least the ones I have seen) tend to hang out along the edge of a creek or a pond... At least it stayed long enough for a photo opportunity.

The little butterfly that could...

Please read this...

Let’s start this week with some football. After all, nothing says football like 90-degree temperatures, with a whole bunch of Southern Illinois humidity thrown in just for the heck of it.

Not all that long ago, back in the Before Times, yours truly looked forward to sitting down on a Saturday afternoon in the fall and watching some Southeastern Conference (the SEC) college football on the tube. Back in the day, CBS aired the games.

I especially enjoyed when the University of Kentucky was one of the teams which was playing. That didn’t happen a lot...at least for a while. UK wasn’t all that great in football. 

Fortunately, the Wildcats’ fortunes on the gridiron have changed. Unfortunately, my opportunities to see UK are pretty much zero. The SEC established its own television network. Mostly about money, I suppose. The games don’t seem to show up on CBS anymore. So much for “traditions”...

Enough whining about the “good old days”...


Once again this week, we’ve got a few critter things going on. 

A recent Sunday afternoon found me once again wandering through a creek at the Trail of Tears State Forest. By now, you know how I feel about that place. Well, I hope you do.

The creek bed was pretty dry, which is not unusual. As usual, I was on alert for critters that might be wandering to and fro. Didn’t see any snakes. Got to keep a watch out for snakes. Just a good thing to do. Didn’t see any hopping, or crawling, amphibians. 

Didn’t even see a raccoon make an unexpected jaunt on the bank along the creek. A raccoon would be part of the day’s adventures...we’ll get back to that in just a bit.

What I did see moving through the creek bed was a bit unexpected. It was a very worn out tiger swallowtail butterfly. The poor critter looked like it had been through a pretty rough day or two. I suppose the fact that it was walking through the creek bed, as opposed to flying to its next destination, was a message in itself.

The butterfly was about three-quarters of the way across the creek bed when I first saw it. Like the little engine that could, the butterfly just kept going. I walked on. It walked on. When I looked back one more time, the swallowtail was continuing to make progress on its journey. 

Now, let’s get back to a raccoon...or two...

After returning home from a walk in the woods, I fixed dinner and did the dishes. At that point, Bob wanted to go outside, because, well, that’s what Bob wants to do in the evening. I thought it might also be a good time to catch up on reading a few days worth of USA TODAY newspapers.

We spent time on the porch swing, once again serving as the main course and a side dish (you can determine who was what) for mosquitoes on the search for Sunday dinner. I eventually decided enough was enough when it came to being mosquito-bit. I took Bob back inside. 

When I came back out on the porch to retrieve my newspapers, I was greeted by a couple of furry, masked visitors. Two young raccoons were scampering around the porch. It looked like they had tossed some of the newspaper sections off the porch swing. A page with a crossword puzzle was left on the swing.

Both of the raccoons made their way straight in my direction...until both of them were practically underfoot. Perhaps one, or both, realized that they are not pets. They changed directions and starting walking away.

At one point, one of the critters stopped and looked back at me. The crossword puzzle was still there on the porch swing. The look on his face suggested that he might want to go ahead and do the puzzle...and, if it wouldn’t be any trouble, could I maybe fix him a snack?

The raccoons apparently decided they had better things to do on a Sunday night. The crossword puzzle went undone...

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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