Sayantan Chakravorty, Chee Wai Lee, Eric Bohm, Terry Wilmarth, Lee Baugh, and I headed out to Lake Mungo, part of the Kennekuk county park system. The lake is just north of Kickapoo park in eastern Illinois; and the signs are clear if you take the first exit east of the Kickapoo park exit. This stormy day was Sunday, May 23 2004. We got rained on as soon as we left the car.
The ciccadas were out in force, covering most plants (0001). Their pencil-shaped holes dotted the path at a density exceeding (in places) one hole per square inch of ground! This works out to a truly ridiculous quantity of ciccadas per acre.
Lake Mungo is a relatively recently flooded resivouir, and hence has a large population of snags (0005) in the farther reaches. We saw a hawk, which is common near Kickapoo (0006, 0010).
We rested at a little pier (0014) which juts out from the shore (0009, 0013). I suspect this is as far as you can get in a boat, as the snags start here.
We felt we were very close when we could see the dam (0017-0019), from a grassy expanse of shore. This isn't the case, however, as the trail is forced to loop around the entire north branch of the lake. The grassy shore (0023) is quite photogenic.
On a horses-allowed part of the path, we encountered and were terrified by the (in retrospect) obviously dead, rotting corpse of a large black snake (0020). We were convinced it was only resting, or trying to lull us into a false sense of security, despite its total lack of motion and rippled backbone.
The dam is earthen (0022), but really doesn't have much vertical drop to contain.
As we headed back through the park proper to the car, a much larger, more intense storm passed (0025-0026). We took refuge in the beautiful, recently constructed gazebo (0027-0030).