Dad-in-law and Nancy live near Sawyer Creek near where it drains into the Fox River. So that’s a natural destination when we go out for walks. I went out walking around Sawyer Creek this morning, starting along the north side near Eagle Street, crossing the creek at North Westfield, then following along the south bank through Red Arrow Park. Quite a few plants were in bloom, including attractive but invasive flowers Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) and Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides). Purple Crownvetch (Securigera varia), another invasive species, were everywhere, with their feathery leaves and clover-like pink-and-white blossoms. I was interested to see flowers of the invasive species Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus), a plant I’d never seen in bloom before. Actually, most of the flowers I saw were invasive species.
I did see one or two native species blooming. There were some elderberry (Sambucus sp.) in bloom, which were probably native. And some of the small scrubby willows (Salix sp., prob. Salix interior, or Sandbar Willow) growing along the south bank of the creek still had some catkins in bloom.
In the early evening, I went fishing along this stretch of Sawyer Creek. I couldn’t see any evidence that the water was flowing. The turbidity was high, and in some places the acquatic plants were pretty thick. I found a place with few plants, and at my first cast a small Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens), a native species, chased the lure right up to the bank. It was so small that it couldn’t actually get its mouth around the lure. I could see I wasn’t going to catch anything, and that was fine with me. I spent a happy half hour trying to read the stream, casting, and changing lures every once in a while. For me, fishing is better than mindfulness meditation: it clears my mind, and I have no concerns about whether I’m engaging in Whitened Buddhism.