Papoose Lake Fun

Recently I stopped at Papoose Lake to have some fun. Oh what fun I did have for sure!
Papoose Lake is part of Chicago’s Cook County Forest Preserves, the Sag Valley area. It’s a quiet little place were few visitors stopped by to fish on the day I visited. Here are some highlights…

Black Eye Susans are popping up all around the lake closest to the parking lot. Not only are there black eye susans, but Blue Vervain…

Looks like this blue vervain just started to bloom. These tiny 5 petal flower clusters will continue to bloom straight up the spike. I think I would have named it purple vervain, to tell you the truth. I think this will be a painting one day!

Holy cow! Look at that! Is it a monster?
No, just the cutest little muskrat I ever did see! He was minding his business, collecting sticks underwater until he saw me, a big monster in his eyes, and took off down the lake, paddling his little rat tail as fast as possible.

Dragonflies were abundant. Two particular types stopped long enough for a picture. This is a Widow Skimmer dragonfly. It is named “widow” because as soon as she lays her eggs, the male takes off. What the heck?!? Anyway, I love that gold stripe down it’s back. Black and gold, handsome colors.

Next, we have a Blue Dasher Dragonfly. He had the a most incredible turquoise head to go with his striking blue body. We must sketch him later!

Not only did a muskrat, blue dasher, and widow skimmer visit me, but the frogs did as well!

Here we have a bullfrog head keep watch from the lake. He thinks he’s sneaky, but his cover is totally blown! I see you Mr. Bullfrog.

This guy was a little more obvious but tiny! He might be a whole 2 inches! I’m guessing this is the Green Frog. Tiny but cute!

I was pleasantly surprised over the surplus of wildlife I encountered at Papoose Lake. Summer at the lake is bursting with interesting creatures. I must sketch them all.


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