Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

May 23: Picture of the Day

May 23, 2010 at 08:47 PM

One of my favorite questions from the kids—and trust me, there are not many—is this:

“Dad, can we go down and play in the crick?”

I’m a sucker for that one. Church clothes on. So what. New shoes. So what.

Kids need to play in creeks. That’s one of my fundamental beliefs of raising children, right up there with video games being the root of many evils (pacticularly hand-held video games).

That’s why I like the spot pictured above. Most days, you’ll see a kid or two playing in this “crick.”

Yes, it’s not a particularly natural area. It’s too close to the railroad tracks for some. Too muddy for others. Too “dangerous” for some.

But there are crawdads in this creek. And some small minnows. And lots of bugs. A few snakes. A turtle now and then (usually ones we release). And frogs.

But most important of all, there are kids in this creek. For all the talk of children who don’t spend time outside, I still see a fair number who do. Happened again today. We were playing baseball and a group of kids wandered down to this little spot to play. Aside from some happy yells now and then, I did not see those kids again for more than an hour.

That makes me smile.

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