Category Archives: Egret

Message of the Day – Birds

Are these the same species bird?

I found the egret on the left at the Main Beach outlet of Crystal Lake.

The one to the right was in one of the McHenry County Fair buildings dedicated to 4-H exhibits.

It impressed me. It certainly is in the tradition of American Folk Art.

I tried enlarging the entry card with the blue merit sticker, but unfortunately couldn’t make out the artist’s name.

Message of the Day – I’m Outta Here

What looked to me like a blue heron flew low across the lake from the west and landed on the front lawn immediately east of CCAPOA Gate 13 Beach on Crystal Lake.

Next an egret landed in the same front lawn.

Ray Christi lamented that he didn’t have his camera, but mine was in the car, so I got it.

We walked closer. The egret took off over the swimming area.

I got this shot.

Neither of us saw where the other bird went.

Message of the Day – An Egret

You’ll remember how impressive I thought the sunset was after the thunderstorms on Monday.

At one point an egret that I had not noticed took off from near Gate 9 in Lakewood.

I don’t know whether it was this egret from the first week of July of 2007.

Or this one on the Gate 9 tree hanging over Crystal Lake at from the same week.

Maybe it’s the same one my son spotted taking off at the outlet in October.

Regardless, with the sunset colors, this egret was ready to go wherever it spends the night.

You would have thought it would have stuck around.

But, maybe birds are more color blind than I.

Lakewood Battens Down the Hatches

In its winter newsletter, the Village of Lakewood talks of “this unprecedented downturn,” while encouraging “you to support the existing businesses in our community.”

Presumably, village elders are seeking sales tax revenue from the very few retail establishments in the village.

It’s explained that capital projects like roads, sewer and water mains, are financed by one-time revenues like utility tap-on fees for new homes.

Because of the economy, “nearly all infrastructure projects have been deferred until the number of housing starts increases.”

Property and sales taxes “are used for ongoing expenditures (Police and Fire services). Therefore, there will be few or no changes in the day-to-day services provided to you by the Village of Lakewood,” the newsletter says.

And, in a candid mode that I have seen few, if any other tax districts use, realistic information is given about taxes. The main article’s author assumes a $400,000 home price and calculates that such a homeowner would pay $9,000 in real estate taxes.

Of that, 13% or about $1,200 would go to the Village of Lakewood. Of that, 60% goes to public safety. 24% to public works, 5% for building code enforcement and 12% for administration.

Less salt will be used this year, it is revealed later in the newsletter. “Unprecedented cost increases, short supply and negative environmental impacts” are cited as reasons.

Those wishing to run for election in the April 7th elections either in Lakewood or any other municipality besides Woodstock and Crystal Lake need to file petitions between January 19 and 26th. Petitions may be obtained at your village hall or, if you don’t want them to know you are running, drop me an email and I’ll pick up a set for you.

There a ridiculously low number of signatures needed to get on the ballot. It’s 5% to 8% of those who voted in the last village election (or up to 50 more than the 5% minimum number).

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The egret was found on the tree with hangs out over Crystal Lake next to the boat pier at Gate 9.

Lakewood Battens Down the Hatches

In its winter newsletter, the Village of Lakewood talks of “this unprecedented downturn,” while encouraging “you to support the existing businesses in our community.”

Presumably, village elders are seeking sales tax revenue from the very few retail establishments in the village.

It’s explained that capital projects like roads, sewer and water mains, are financed by one-time revenues like utility tap-on fees for new homes.

Because of the economy, “nearly all infrastructure projects have been deferred until the number of housing starts increases.”

Property and sales taxes “are used for ongoing expenditures (Police and Fire services). Therefore, there will be few or no changes in the day-to-day services provided to you by the Village of Lakewood,” the newsletter says.

And, in a candid mode that I have seen few, if any other tax districts use, realistic information is given about taxes. The main article’s author assumes a $400,000 home price and calculates that such a homeowner would pay $9,000 in real estate taxes.

Of that, 13% or about $1,200 would go to the Village of Lakewood. Of that, 60% goes to public safety. 24% to public works, 5% for building code enforcement and 12% for administration.

Less salt will be used this year, it is revealed later in the newsletter. “Unprecedented cost increases, short supply and negative environmental impacts” are cited as reasons.

Those wishing to run for election in the April 7th elections either in Lakewood or any other municipality besides Woodstock and Crystal Lake need to file petitions between January 19 and 26th. Petitions may be obtained at your village hall or, if you don’t want them to know you are running, drop me an email and I’ll pick up a set for you.

There a ridiculously low number of signatures needed to get on the ballot. It’s 5% to 8% of those who voted in the last village election (or up to 50 more than the 5% minimum number).

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The egret was found on the tree with hangs out over Crystal Lake next to the boat pier at Gate 9.

Fox River High

It’s not at the flood stage it was in May, but the Algonquin dam is open and there is not much of a drop over the spillway, as you can see in the picture I took yesterday about 11.

Considering the almost 6 inches of rain that fell at McHenry, according to Channel 7 weather, one might think the water level would be higher.

It was high enough for the Fox Waterway Agency to issue a “No Wake” order for the lower Fox River yesterday morning at 8.

I did see at least four egrets on the shore at Algonquin’s Cornish Park.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Fox River High

It’s not at the flood stage it was in May, but the Algonquin dam is open and there is not much of a drop over the spillway, as you can see in the picture I took yesterday about 11.

Considering the almost 6 inches of rain that fell at McHenry, according to Channel 7 weather, one might think the water level would be higher.

It was high enough for the Fox Waterway Agency to issue a “No Wake” order for the lower Fox River yesterday morning at 8.

I did see at least four egrets on the shore at Algonquin’s Cornish Park.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Message of the Day – A Bird

Observant folks driving past the outlet of Crystal Lake saw this egret standing in the spillway.

After taking my son to South Elementary School on Tuesday, October 3rd, I parked at Gate 3 and went to take some pictures.

I got several of the egret standing in the shallow, running water.

I wonder what kind of food it is looking for.

I walked closer, I guess I scared it, because it took off.

A woman walking from the Main Beach thought she made it take flight, but I think it was my movements.

When not on the spillway, it could often be seen with a gray companion perched on the barge from which 4th of July fireworks are launched.

I suppose this is the same bird that I caught on a large tree hanging out over the water at Beach 7 this summer.

It’s probably the same one we saw near Gate 21 while out on our pontoon boat.

Since the temperature dropped 40 degrees in 48 hours the middle of this week, I haven’t sighted the egret again.

I wonder how far south it winters.

The egret is not the only bird feeding near the little dam. My son pointed out a blue heron the first part of July, but I didn’t get as good a photo of it.

Message of the Day – A Bird

Observant folks driving past the outlet of Crystal Lake saw this egret standing in the spillway.

After taking my son to South Elementary School on Tuesday, October 3rd, I parked at Gate 3 and went to take some pictures.

I got several of the egret standing in the shallow, running water.

I wonder what kind of food it is looking for.

I walked closer, I guess I scared it, because it took off.

A woman walking from the Main Beach thought she made it take flight, but I think it was my movements.

When not on the spillway, it could often be seen with a gray companion perched on the barge from which 4th of July fireworks are launched.

I suppose this is the same bird that I caught on a large tree hanging out over the water at Beach 7 this summer.

It’s probably the same one we saw near Gate 21 while out on our pontoon boat.

Since the temperature dropped 40 degrees in 48 hours the middle of this week, I haven’t sighted the egret again.

I wonder how far south it winters.

The egret is not the only bird feeding near the little dam. My son pointed out a blue heron the first part of July, but I didn’t get as good a photo of it.

Egret On Crystal Lake – 2

I don’t know if this is the same egret we saw just west of Gate 21 in Lakewood last week, but it flew onto the main trunk of the tree just west of the Gate 9 pier early on Independence Day morn.

My son and a friend who had spent the night had convinced me to accompany them to the lake to search for snails as soon as they awoke.

That was about 6:30—well before my normal rising time.

We went over and found the previous night’s rainstorm had left the lake less transparent than it usually is that early in the day.

We could see the bottom out probably ten feet from shore, but I could find none of the tell tail snail trails that ended where the tiny snails stopped.

These are the snails that eat duck poop, which, in turn, results in something that causes swimmers itch.

I had hoped the boys would gather dozens of them and remove them from the lake—permanently.

But, no such luck.

I did get most of three newspapers read before I noticed a lovely white bird flying toward the tree which overhangs Crystal Lake at the west edge of Country Club Additions Property Owners Association’s property that is called Beach 7.

I got to the edge of the closest parking lot and took the picture you see.

As I snuck closer the egret became alarmed and flew off. I got a white smudge of a picture of one of the wings, but little more.

For those who can’t envision the tree where the egret landed and where generations of kids have loved to play in winter and summer, here’s a picture I took within the last week showing the setting sun’s rays shining through it.

The egret was standing on the branch sticking over the lake.