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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

Did spring arrive in one day?

March 02, 2008 at 08:18 PM

The thermometer said 67 degrees today in Decatur and the skies around us everywhere said spring.

Mallards were pairing up in little coves of Lake Decatur’s Sand Creek basin, basking in the sun and watching the ice melt steadily. Geese were mobbed in the lake, but pairs slipped away here and there, chasing off any who dared follow them.

On the drive home from Decatur I saw male red-winged blackbirds staking out their road-side territories.

And once home in Elmwood I heard flocks of snow geese passing overhead in the dark sky while down the street a barred owl hooted.

Meanwhile the e-mail brought report after report about migrating sandhill cranes and northern shrikes and robins and a whole mass of spring birds that we’ve missed for months.

Birds are back. And mating. Or migrating. And in the blink of an eye it feels like spring. It’s not, of course. Given the way this winter has gone we’ll probably see snow again. Or at least cold weather.

But for one glorious day, it was wonderful to be outside. Certainly the birds agreed.


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