Rounding the Bend Toward Spring in Marshall, Illinois

Wow, has the weather been crazy here in Marshall or what? We had a snowstorm that surprised us all. A few brave souls went out into the blizzard-like winds, took some great pictures of the snow, and posted them on social media. The schools were closed for a few days, but eventually, things calmed down enough for snowman making, snowball fights, and sleigh rides. While beautiful, it caused many of us a little more in our heating bills to keep the house warm and cozy.  It has also reduced outdoor activity in Marshall.

But this week, temperatures crept up to the high 50’s. The weather pros are promising we will see bright and sunny days with 60 degrees and higher—time to break out the lighter jackets and thinner sweaters and get out into the fresh air.

One of the downfalls of this newfound sunshine is the usual flooding that happens as the ice and snowmelt. We’ve seen some severe flooding in Illinois and our neighboring states. Heavy rains have made the rivers run high and overflow. Lots of flood warnings have been in effect in our area and nearby regions of Indiana. If any flooding still exists in your area, be careful when driving, and mind the warnings. If you approach a flooded road, especially one that runs over a river or stream, do not assume your car can make it through the water. Water levels can be deceptive, and rushing waters can move even the heaviest of vehicles.

As the sun melts the snow and warms and dries the land, getting out in nature becomes more enticing. The trees will be showing their spring colors soon. If you’re a photography buff, get out the camera or even the phone and get some great shots to share with everyone. Wildlife, particularly birds, will be poking their heads out soon. You bird watchers will want to get out to one of our beautiful parks, walk the trails, and note the birds as they begin to return to us.

Local High School Sports

Marshall High School spring (and fall) sports are in full swing. Many athletes are pulling double-duty as basketball migrates to spring football on the boys’ side. Girls’ sports are also very busy transitioning from sport to sport. Although we still won’t be able to fully participate in attending these events we’re very thankful the school and local media are doing their very best to keep us informed and “plugged-in” to all activities.

America’s greatest outdoor activity, baseball, will start their season in Marshall very soon. In a month or so, our Marshall Lion’s team will be out playing with games happening as early as the beginning of next month. Even if you’re not on a baseball or softball team, now is the time to get out the old glove and get in some good old games of catch with the family. It’s great exercise and gets you in the mood for spring.

For The Outdoor Sportsman

It might be time to renew your fishing license and get out on the lake. Fishing Licenses for 2021 became available a few days ago, on March 1. If you get your license this month, it will expire on March 31, 2022. Your 2020 license will not expire until March 31 of this year, so you have plenty of time to get a new one.

A unique website with lots of information about fishing spots, bait shops, and all things fishing near Marshall, Illinois and the surrounding area is https://www.hookandbullet.com/c/fishing-marshall-il/. The site was built for the outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen using a crowdsourcing model. They allow locals to share knowledge on the site. You can make edits, update details, share reports, and record your catches with photos, locations, and more. They hope you will share your love for the sport of fishing and your expertise that might help others.

If you own a boat, now is the time to get her water ready. Marshall has the beautiful Mill Creek Lake, where boating (and when it gets warmer) swimming is great fun and very popular activity. The lake is open to jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing from sun-up to sundown every day. You need to secure either a daily or annual permit before you are allowed to launch any motorized water vessel.

No matter what your favorite outdoor activity in Marshall is, shake off the cold and the dust of the winter blues and get outdoors. Walk, run, plop down your yoga mat and do some stretches in the yard or get a few friends and meet up in a local green space. Take a walk downtown and get a great cup of coffee or some food. Support the local businesses. They’re ready to crush it this spring and make up for a challenging year and a cold winter.

Marshall is a great place to live, a great place to visit, and a great place to play in the great outdoors.