Thompson Lake reaches all the way to the levee on the north end of the Emiquon Preserve, but a large area is filled with prairie. When you walk on the north side you never know what you will see.
From Mud Road you can see the wheat growing along the bluffs on the other side of IL 24.
Big Sister and Little Sister Creeks join together and run between two levees on the north side as it heads out to the Illinois River. These creeks likely joined in with what was once described as "the tortuous course of Thompson’s Slough" connecting the lakes, marshes, and bayous to the river.
TNC works to control invasive species like the Musk Thistle, but still some manage to survive. A Spice Bush Swallowtail butterfly found the bushy purple flower to its liking.
Flannel Mullein grows abundantly, with its spikes of yellow flowers providing silhouettes not unlike some cactus out west.
This spike posed a question, unanswerable by a mere human walking along.
I found a Painted Lady butterfly, an Amberwing dragonfly, and a Widow Skimmer dragonfly resting on the dew covered grass.
A Lady Bug Beetle was prominently on display.
I found a patch of Common Daylilies near Sister Creek, with flowers glowing in the morning sunlight.
As I was photographing an Elderberry bush in bloom, what I think is a juvenile Dickcissel popped up on one of the Elder flowers.
I encountered several deer on my walk on the north side. This stag has an emerging rack covered in velvet.
This stag has a much smaller rack developing, as it peeked at me from its grassy hiding spot.
This doe galloped away when she spotted me.
Looking south, I could see the power plant at Havana sending forth its cloud forming steam.
Looking southwest, I could see the TNC Headquarters and the UIS Emiquon Field Station.
The water near the levee was full of life.
Immature American White Pelicans congregated far out on the lake, near the levee.
A Wood Duck mother herded her ducklings away from me as I walked the north levee.
I found some Harvestmen on a milkweed plant, with a large cluster of the spindly legged creatures covering one of the flowers.
Two other mother Wood Ducks with ducklings were swimming in the pools of water in the estuary between the levee and Sister Creeks.
After my walk on the north side, I drove along Clark Road to IL 78/97 highway and encountered a pair of Northern Bob White Quails scurrying along before my slowly advancing car.