By Dave Coulter
It's Sunday evening and the smell of rain is finally wafting through the windows. It's a pleasant end to what I would call the first summer weekend of the season - if we forget March, that is. The thunderstorms that were predicted for us all day finally arrived.
Early this afternoon I got on my bike and rode over to Thatcher Woods to see what I could see. I hadn't been there in a while and a visit was overdue. The midday heat was rising and storm clouds were puffing themselves up in the hazy distance. I figured I could beat the rain, if not the heat.
A secondary reason for the ride was the implementation of a spontaneous guerrilla gardening project of mine. A bicycle is a most efficient mode of transport for these moments. You'll just have to trust me on this point. Anyway, along the route I managed to plant a couple dozen Kentucky Coffeetree seeds that I rescued from a curbside earlier. It's a fine native tree. I have no idea if these seeds will germinate and grow, but I figure they have a better shot now than they did in a roadway. Life is full of maybes.
I finally made it to the mighty Des Plaines where I fell into what is turning out to be annual routines. I looked - in vain - for Prothonotary Warblers nesting in the usual backwaters. Life is full of maybes, maybe next year. I had better luck with some of my other friends. I saw a small gang of Green Dragons - which has to be one of my favorite sentences to say or write. It just proves that magic is everywhere, even along the rough edges of our home river.
The woods were fairly quiet in the heat. A Blue Jay, and later some Canada Geese were heard - but not seen. A barn swallow was seen - but not heard - working in the mud along the riverbank under the Washington Street bridge, likely building up a nest. I walked along the paths enjoying the still heat, the opening scene of the next act. And the rains did come, for the seeds, the dragons, the fish, and the fowl. Summer is back.