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Richardson Wildlife Pictures (February 3-5, 2005)

The U of I Wildlife Society took a trip to this private nature preserve somewhere in Lee County, IL. It was in the middle of nowhere, basically. . . most of our cell phones didn't get reception. It was wonderful!

We arrived at the cabin/lodge at night. It was neat winding our way on the dirt/gravel road with pine tree branches scraping alongside the car. Then, out of the darkness, shone welcoming lights from the cabin...
Inside was awesome! Tall glass windows, wood paneling, a fireplace, tons of rooms inside, and many animals and nature-related things on display...

        

        


Here is a picture of a map of the property. 1800 acres acquired since 1989. The whole place is a work in progress-- restoring old farmland into a little island of forest and prairie, where animals no doubt take refuge.
The rest of the night was spend just hanging out, with each other, getting familiar with the place.

        


The next day we set out for adventure. This included doing some tree inventory on a small plot of land. It was windy and snowing all day, but not accumulating. Despite the cold, we did our best to explore the land. After our small tree project and a break for lunch, we took a 3-hour hike and saw some pretty cool things, including 30-odd deer running through a prairie.

        

     


Out of nowhere we could see this building peaking through the trees... the property-owner's enormous house. Huge windows and stone facing. A haven amidst in nature. If I had the money, I'd definitely go for something like this...


Walking through the corn fields...


A deer carcass we found.


Too bad some of these photos are washed out.
Some cool tree pics, though.

        


Coming upon the lake, and our lodge.
And Bill :-)

     


These are pictures from the basement, which was as big as the rest of the lodge. It included a meeting room and had many specimen from the property on display. Like a mini nature museum.

        

     


More pictures from inside and the view of the lake.

        


A final look at Richardson.
It was a great place to truly get away from everything... there should be more places like this for people to enjoy. I feel lucky to have been here, and hope I can go back.

 

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