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 9: Picture of the Day

June 09, 2010 at 09:14 PM

There is one place in Peoria County where I can always count on seeing a bluebird. Kramm Road. Those little rascals are always there.

Herb Unkirch of Edwards has some houses he tends there. He reports that bluebirds are in their second nesting of the year. So far this year Herb has had 120 nests with at least one egg, 471 eggs total, 262 hatchlings and 187 fledglings. He reports that sparrows and wrens have broken lots of eggs this year.

The birds on Kramm Road seem to do well. This morning I saw a male take food to nestlings and this evening, the female pictures above was nearby. Unfortunately, her pose was fairly typical. Because while I can see lots of bluebirds on Kramm Road, that doesn’t mean they cooperate for pictures very well. Usually I see them for only a second before they fly off. Or they will pose for me on the wrong side of the road, in the shadows or backlight or something that makes them hard to photograph.

And if all had gone well, this would not be today’s picture. There’s a group of four bucks hanging out in a field that have so far been just out of good picture range. One of them has a bad front leg and walks very funny. His rack is also growing in non-typical on the left side. Guess that means he must have a bad right leg. Anyway, I had planned to use one a deer picture this evening. Somehow, that picture is gone. A digital gremlin must have attacked.

So instead we get a female bluebird poised on a wire.

Oh well, there’s plenty of time for bucks.

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