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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


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

Wet weather a boon for ditches

July 15, 2009 at 03:04 PM

In addition to keeping grass green and ponds full, all this wet weather we’ve been having has been wonderful for plants along roadsides.

Ditch mowers have been sidelined by the rainy weather, leaving nice stands of grass and plants in area that normally by now have a scorched-to-the-earth look.

I passed a prime example Tuesday while driving to see some of the champion trees of Illinois located in the Peoria area.

While driving I saw big bluestem with seed heads standing like turkey tracks.

I saw wild asparagus in plenty of places that I vow to visit next spring when the shoots will be tender and tasty.

I saw gray-headed coneflower, still my favorite yellow prairie flower.

I saw various sunflowers.

Day lillies.

And best of all, on the Kentville Blacktop between Kewanee and Hennepin I saw more compass plant blooming than I have ever seen along one roadside. It was enough to make me smile all afternoon—and to wish for more rainy summers that will keep the mowers at bay.

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