Just about this time of year, as trees begin to bud and crocuses peek through the earth, a strong feeling comes over me. The dormant meadows and sharp bare tree limbs forming a stark and strong landscape are now softening around the edges. The rivers still look icy cold as they run beneath the bridges, but the sprouts along their banks hold the promise of warmer days.



The first crocuses of spring


Just about this time of year, summer can’t come soon enough.


It’s on days like this when the air begins to warm but the vegetation still needs coaxing that I begin to daydream of summer.  The smell of a freshly cut lawn.  The cool water on my ankles while fishing on a hot day.  Waking to the sound of birds.  Picnicking on the banks of the Osage.  Canoeing on the lake.


Shaded Float

Floating the river


What are your summer daydreams?

Anticipation can be a wonderful thing.  Each week, over the next ten weeks, we will feature one of our reader’s daydreams just to help carry us through to summer.

Send us your photo from past summers in the Illinois River Watershed.  Ten lucky winners will be selected to be featured in our Throwback Thursday post and will receive a $10 gift card as our thank you for sharing.


2012 Watershed Camp 027

Hangin’ with friends


Seedlings are a lightweight and low cost alternative to containerized trees

Getting your hands dirty



Catching the big one


Plein Air Workshop

Capturing the essence of summer

So, spend a few moments identifying the best summer moments that you’ve captured… and share them with us!  And before you know it, summer will actually be here.


The scoop on the Giveaway:

Email your photo to Team@IRWP.org and include your full name, email address, the location of the photo, the year it was taken and a brief description of your summer memory.  Entries due April 28th.

Winners will be selected by the IRWP team by April 30th, based upon creativity and significance to the Illinois River Watershed.  Winners will be notified via email.

Your photo entry must not infringe on any third party rights.  By submitting your photo, you are granting us permission to use it, royalty-free for any IRWP educational or promotional purposes.