Illinois Outdoors at
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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

June 1: Picture of the Day

June 01, 2010 at 02:01 PM

Driving along today across Kickapoo Creek I encountered a state celebrity.

There on a bridge was this painted turtle, which as we should all know is the official reptile of Illinois. That voting was conducted in 2004 and 45 percent of school children who voted tabbed the painted turtle. Another 32 percent picked the garter snake and 23 percent opted for the eastern box turtle. The official release crowning the painted turtle (which incidentally misspelled herpetological) said, “Among the world’s most colorful aquatic turtles, the painted turtle is a familiar sight in lakes and ponds across Illinois. In addition to being a good scavenger, the painted turtle feeds on insects, aquatic invertebrates and plants and helps clean up the environment.”

Very interesting.

Now on to another matter. After one of my recent posts, faithful reader treehugger asked what kind of camera and lens I used to take a picture of a baby robin. The lens that day was the same lens that took this picture. In fact, I use the Micro Nikkor 200 mm lens quite often nowadays for close-ups of critters and plants. The camera I generally use to post these pictures is a Nikon D1X. For longer shots I use an AF Nikkor 300 mm 1:4. For fishing shots it’s the AF Nikko 20-35 mm. Every now and then I go withj the Canon PowerShot S5IS.

If all my gear sounds rather old, well that’s because it is. Most of the stuff is hand-me-downs from the Journal Star photogs. Not giving me new stuff is a wise decision, since I tend to be hard on lens and cameras. That said, they’re dented and beat-up but they still work well enough for me.

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