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I was feeling a little stir-crazy today, so I elected to take a drive along the Route 3 Great River Road in Illinois this afternoon.

I was glad I did.

It's been bitterly cold in St. Louis over the past week, and clearly just as cold upstream judging from the quantities of river ice. It made for a spectacular view, although, judging from a number of barges nudged over to the Illinois bank, not great navigation.

I followed the road out to Pere Marquette State Park on the Illinois River, and stopped to look at the ice close up. I was not alone.

The ice provided support for some ice fishing for a heron,not for the children who were cajoled away from the edge by the careful dad.

It was warm afternoon – for a change – and the sun's heat reflecting from the ice and water laid a haze over the surface that blurred a lot of my photos. Never mind, I had my eyes!

I looked for bald eagles, but the sun and warmth do not bring them out in any numbers, and all I saw was a single eagle sitting in a tree on the far bank. Lots of turkey buzzards though, and scattered along the length of the River Road I would find cars pulled over to look at the circling birds. Turkey buzzards will circle for anyone – especially if there might be some food left behind! Not eagles, though.

The sun was low by the time I turned around and headed back home, setting just before Alton and giving me another pretty picture:

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