The Nuisance Permit

While paddling the Sangamon River, one of the more frequent spectators are the whitetail deer. This trip was no different. Paddling along, I spotted a whitetail along the bank. Ears up, eyes wide, he seemed more curious than frightened. I approached calmly and quietly. Deer are beautiful animals, but they’ve become a nuisance, encroaching on our farms and suburban gardens […]

You know the river’s at flood when you wake up to a pair of mallards swimming around in your backyard. When the Sangamon’s at flood stage, water consumes the forest and it becomes a swampy Louisiana bayou. The River spreads out beyond its banks and becomes lost, flowing somewhere in a clear spot through the swampy forest. So obviously it’s […]

River at Flood

Fantasies of Springtime

It’s springtime and a guy’s mind turns to fantasy. But mine tend to be a little odd. In one of my weirder fantasies, I’m sitting up on a grassy knoll overlooking Highway 47 with a huge stuffed bag of other people’s garbage that I and other Upper Sangamon River Conservancy volunteers have just spent two hours cleaning up along our […]

Winners and Losers

Conclusion of the three part series. Jonathan Lantz Buffalo, a Meskwaki (or Fox to the French) Native American, writes of Etnataek in the 1980 Wisconsin Historical Journal: “For the record, I just want to announce from the tribe, we won the war, because today you see Meskwaki. But if you went to France, there is no French king, or French […]