Are you looking at me? As a matter of fact, yes. Saw this white-tailed deer hanging around near the State Forest Road Sunday evening. The critter was kind enough to pose for a couple of photographs.Making waves... Water striders were hanging around in a pool of water at the Trail of Tears State Forest Sunday evening. When they moved around on the surface on the water, they made a wave... or two... or three...

Sometimes...you've just got to get to the woods...

Please read this...

Surprise...

Under “normal” circumstances, you would have found this column on the back page of the paper. However, due to other obligations, the “normal” back page is not the back page this week... back to “normal” next week, I think...

Sometimes, a person just has to wander off to the woods... which is exactly what yours truly did last Sunday evening.

We’ll get back to Sunday evening adventures in just a bit...

... before we do, I just wanted to make note of a couple of nature-y sorts of things that happened recently...

The governor of Illinois (you know who he is... right?) on Monday signed House Bill 4261. The bill designated Dolostone as the official rock of the State of Illinois. 

A news release from the governor’s office explained that “House Bill 4261 began as an initiative led by a group of elementary school students from Pleasantdale Middle School in Burr Ridge and Maplebrook Elementary School in Naperville. After the students discovered that Illinois did not have a state rock, they created a ballot and had students across the state vote for a winner. The chosen rock was Dolostone.

“Dolostone, a form of limestone, forms the majority of Illinois’s bedrock, establishing a foundation for the state’s other natural terrain. Its name comes from its original discovery in the Dolomite Alps.”

In keeping with the special occasion, a state senator even engaged in some rock humor: “I encourage Illinoisans to learn more about Dolostone, and although it may be similar to other rocks, we shouldn’t take it for granite.” Ugh.

Not only does Illinois now have an official rock... the Land of Lincoln also has a official state snake. Earlier this year, thanks to the efforts of an 11-year-old “civic-minded young constituent” and a couple of state legislators from the Land Between the Rivers, Illinois now has an official state snake – the eastern milk snake.

It’s good to see people having a say in what’s happening in Springfield. We might want to put them in charge...

Anyway, last Sunday evening, I decided, pretty much on a whim, to get in the car and motor to the Trail of Tears State Forest, which, as you may recall, is one of my favorite places to visit. And, at five dollars a gallon, the state forest is close to home...

The state forest was a pretty quiet place Sunday evening. I did not see any eastern milk snakes during my visit. To be honest with you, I don’t know for sure if there are any eastern milk snakes at the state forest. There are other snakes, though. 

I did see some limestone. Right under foot. Can’t tell you if it was Dolomite. Might need to check that out... 

I  also saw a couple of goldfinches, some water striders hanging out in a pool of water and, on the way back home, a couple of white-tailed deer which looked like they were having Sunday dinner. 

While heading out to the state forest, I was listening to some tunes on the radio. The program I was listening to originated in Lexington, Kentucky, which is kind of an important place in our lives right now... And it just so happened that one of the songs I heard was “Kentucky Waltz.” Seemed appropriate...

As it turned out, the host of the radio program happened to mention some of the radio stations around the world which air the program. One of the stations he mentioned happened to be the one in Carbondale I was listening to. Did not expect that to happen while motoring through the country on Mountain Glen Road...

In keeping with “tradition,” let’s close with a shameless plug. The Friends of Stinson Library are planning to have a summer book sale Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The sale will be at Stinson Memorial Library in Anna, and is being held in conjunction with this weekend’s Annabelle Festival. You can find details about the book sale, and the festival, elsewhere in this week’s paper. Check it out. Maybe there will be a book about rocks. Or snakes.

The Gazette-Democrat

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

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