Southern Illinois Summer Scenes and Animal Sightings

The Winkelers For The South

The only predictable thing about nature is its unpredictability.

Our natural world is changing from day to day, making every encounter with a living creature a random event. And, in the case of southern Illinois where we have four distinct seasons, we are blessed with a yearly natural progression.

Nature’s New Year begins in March when temperatures moderate, though unpredictably. The first wildflowers emerge from the frosty ground. And, day by day, the world is slowly turning green.

Hibernating animals come out of their dens. Neotropical migrants return from their tropical winter homes, bringing color and song to our woods and backyards.

And, while the transition from the bitter cold of winter to the warm breezes of April and May may seem like an eternity, nature is changing fast.

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The birds quickly follow and produce their first brood of young. Tiny goslings can be seen waddling around the area’s lakes long before the calendar tells us summer has officially arrived. Tiny rabbits jump cautiously close to their mothers and spotted fawns are seen lying nervously in the grassy fields.

The world is changing rapidly before our eyes.

The turtle, snakes and butterflies we haven’t seen in months are seemingly everywhere. Cliff swallows return to their calabash-shaped mud nests, raise their families, and return to their wintering grounds in mid-summer.

And, in the blink of an eye, summer is a memory as we begin to see coots and teals on our lakes. It happens quickly.

Here are a number of scenes from Southern Illinois this summer.

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