This week, we’re sending this column straight to the animals. Hang in there, folks, the final item may rescue it.
Start spinning your tall tales now — I caught a three-pound bass on my first fishing excursion — and share them aplenty while gaining actual fishing knowledge at the Let’s Go Fishing Show in Collinsville. There will be more than 100 exhibitors with tackle, rods, reels, trolling motors and more. Did we mention boat dealers? The Fish Pond is canceled (“fish contamination from flooding,” they say), but there’s an archery range to practice your bowfishing skills. It’s a family-friendly event with children’s activities and a beer garden.
Prizes include a fishing trip to Canada. Parking is free; tickets are $7 for adults and $3.50 for kids aged 6 to 15 with paid adult admission, 5 and under are free. The show is 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Gateway Center in Collinsville. (And that bass I caught? Darn likely closer to 3.5 pounds, if we’re tellin’ tales.)
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Watch for eagles
It’s supposed to be the right time of year for eagles aplenty, but the flooding has messed that up a bit. All the same, the birdwatchers are still welcome to see the eagles who decide to grace us with their presence. Try these local favorite spots this weekend:
▪ Eagle Meet and Greet, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Alton Visitor Center, 200 Piasa St., Alton. For more information, call 800-258-6645.
▪ Eagle Shuttle Tours, starting at 10:30 a.m. with the last at 2:15 p.m. Saturday at the Alton Visitor Center, 200 Piasa St., Alton. Stops scheduled for Maple Island, Heron Pond, Ellis Island and at the Alton Visitor Center. The shuttle will return to the Audubon Center for dropoff. Cost is $5 per person. Information: 800-258-6645.
▪ Live Bald Eagles, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, TreeHouse Wildlife Center, 23956 Green Acres Road, Dow. Free admission. Information: 618-466-2990.
▪ Audubon Center Birds of Winter, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Audubon Center at Riverlands, 301 Riverlands Way, West Alton, Mo., for bald eagles, trumpeter swans and ducks. Information: 636-899-0090.
Art by chainsaw
If there aren’t all that many live eagles about this weekend, we can rely on Luke Harris and Don Johnson of Itchy Brothers Chainsaw Art. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. for “The Itchy Brothers” to rev their engines from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower, 435 Confluence Tower Drive, Hartford. Some of their previously finished work will be available for sale.
Like some of their human counterparts, animal mommas like to keep their new babies under wraps for a while. The St. Louis Zoo’s Edwards’ pheasants and king penguin families are no exception.
A pheasant hatched Jan. 1 and another Jan. 4, and the new parents are getting human help as they are new to the game. Each is about three-quarters of an once, and their genders are not yet known.
The king penguin that hatched on Jan. 2 at a comparatively robust 9 ounces is being raised by its parents, Nathan and BB, in the public habitat. It will be a patient visitor who sees that little one; another born in November is just now getting too big to hide under it’s parents wings.
The St. Louis Zoo has a page online dedicated to the birds, which are perhaps not nearly as adorable as one would hope. But the zoo does have about 5,000 animals, surely one will tickle your fancy.
Marvel Universe is coming live to the Scottrade Center this weekend, with Spider-Man, The Avengers and more popping the villains into their rightful places. The show promises special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts (of course, it IS Spider-Man), and motorcycles. The show is all-ages, and tickets start at $15. Go to www.scottradecenter.com for times.