Thin ice. This is the south end of Wolf Lake, a boat slip just past the gun club. Twenty degrees (-7º C), but no sign of snøkaos. This is still Chicago proper, not the kind of place you think of as “home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play. ”
I had hoped to find a scholar stone (well, not really, it was just a McGuffin for choosing a destination for the walk). The stones here seem to be filled with steel rebar.
There are some trailers, but even more empty pallets. The hookups look like tombstones.
A huge deer runs across the empty part of the trailer park way in front of me, but I have just put my camera back in my pocket, along with my freezing fingers.
I take my camera back out and turn it on. Suddenly two more deer start to run over me, but then they see me and stop behind a bush, ten feet in front of me. Two sets of ears perk up and two noses push forward, panicky but curious. Surely I can get a fast picture now and crop it later without losing too much resolution. Quickly I snap the camera’s button, but realize it’s in movie mode and is filming instead. The deer have disappeared, but I wait, and am rewarded with a short film of them bounding away towards Boy Scout Drive.
The deer go back and forth several times, seemingly unafraid of the traffic, then finally disappear. I follow. A fence encloses the trailer park, but at the far end, close to the road, an old carpet is thrown over the fence. Hmm. Wonder what that could be for. This is the sort of trailer park with white plastic swans and broken flowerpots in the yards, so a discarded carpet would not look out of place here, but somehow I think it’s not just discarded, but put there for the deer to cross the fence.
I continue to Boy Scout Drive. This is the local route to Indiana and cheap gas, so named because the Boy Scouts have adopted it to keep the trash picked up.
I continue to the railroad tracks that mark the Indiana border. The tracks continue north through the lake, dividing Wolf Lake into the Illinois side and the Indiana side. Here there is a barrier–it seems all the rocks on this side of the lake are embedded with steel rods. It’s just not a good day for scholars’ stones.
..but to the left of the barrier is an unmistakable path through a small swamp. This must be where the deer find water.
And in the frozen ground, the imprint of several deer tracks.