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CCFB News» August 2020

Ag Lit Bit

08/02/2020 @ 8:35 am | By Diane Merrion

Ag Lit Bit We had the good fortune to spend a week at a cottage we have rented for many years. Somehow this yearly tradition seemed extra special this year for several reasons. First and foremost, we had our family of five together for the first time in a long time. Second, we had picture perfect weather and the lake was very warm. Third, we had new focal points: catching fish, talking, and not the listening to the news.


Being there a few weeks before we normally arrive afforded us the opportunity to see a whole new landscape of nature  is not always seen in late August. Of first note was the amazing display of wildflowers (some native and some invasive I have come to find out). While thinking we saw fields of Indian Paintbrush, I came to discover they were Orange Hawkweed. Nonetheless, the orange flora scattered along with other yellow and white flowers close by made for a gorgeous sight.


We also hiked new trails above lakes and looked down on many duckling families as they learned to navigate the water with their mother’s guidance. We even spotted a family of what we learned to be Hooded Mergansers (a mother with 13 following her).


Of course, my favorites were there again, the Bald Eagles. We headed to the same sections of the lake and there they were. Most eagles return to the same nest site and usually the same mate year after year.


Despite the beauty and relaxation of the week, I sure did miss my teachers and our yearly tradition of Summer Ag (SAI). My summer is usually scheduled around SAI and it was sad not to visit farms and businesses to learn about ag in Cook County and Illinois.  


It was odd to be away early in the summer as this was, I hope, not “the new normal”. I hope to hop on the bus again next summer and share the incredible sights of agriculture to bring new light and energy to those educating our children, just as my week away energized me.


For a glimpse of what our professional development summer program looks like, visit and scroll down to “Video”.

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