During your stay at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House, I hope you will have a chance to visit historic Mount Carroll, Illinois. Located about six miles from Roberts’ Roost, Mount Carroll is a glimpse into the past with its beautiful courtyard and historic houses. Antique shopping and fine dining awaits you in Mount Carroll. For a preview of this beautiful town check out this video created by Chad Winterland.
Welcome to Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House on this beautiful July day! I would like to share with you the story of these heirloom “Tiger Lilies” that are currently in bloom at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. When I was a child, (many, many) years ago, I always loved these special flowers. I was fascinated with the little black seeds that grew up and down the sturdy stocks, and the shape of these wonderful blooms with all of their intricate parts.
I saw them many times during their blooming season. The large patch that grew at my Grandpa’s house, was right beside the outhouse, a very popular destination. We were a little behind the times at Grandpa’s and didn’t get an inside bathroom, until the mid 1960’s. This swathe of Tiger Lilies always had a lot of traffic past them especially on Sundays during the summer, when as many as 20 to 30 family members would gather for dinner and an afternoon of conversation while us kids played around the farm.
The Tiger Lilies pictured here that bloom at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House actually came from the little patch that was next to that often used outhouse. In June of 2004, on the day of my father’s funeral, I visited the site where my grandpa’s house had stood for so many years and had housed so many of my family members. ( My dad was one of sixteen children). The house had deteriorated to a pile of rubble, most of the barns and outbuildings, long gone along with that well used little outhouse. However on that day in June 2004, one solitary Tiger Lily still bloomed among all the weeds. My husband and I dug it up and moved it down the lane to what is now known as Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. As I planted it in one of my flower beds I prayed this poor lonesome flower would make it through the transplant in the middle of the summer heat. (Little did I know about the endurance of these beauties. Now, twelve years later that Tiger Lily still flourishes and has multiplied many times over, reseeding into two other gardens in the yard as well.
I only need a glimpse of these tall lilies to bring all of the wonderful memories of my childhood and grandpa’s farm flooding back. These flowers have stood the test of time, definitely no coddling to keep these flowers alive. I have no idea when they were planted or by whom, but my ancestors dwelt on that land as far back as 1860. I like to envision the grandmother I never knew, (she died about eight years before I was born), planting those flowers and enjoying the beauty of them year after year. The amazing thing is that even after I dug up the last remaining Tiger Lily that day back in 2004, they still thrive. I was by there a few days ago and where the old outhouse stood another new group is blooming. I guess they will last forever just like my precious memories.
Here are a few interesting facts about the Tiger Lily:
The Tiger Lily, bears large, fiery orange flowers covered by spots. The name tiger probably refers to the spots on the petals.
The Tiger Lily has significant medicinal use. A tincture is made from the fresh plant and has proved of great value in uterine-neuralgia, congestion and irritation, also in the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. (Interesting fact considering my grandmother was pregnant at least sixteen times that I know of.)
There is an old legend from Asia about the Tiger Lily. A Korean hermit helped a wounded tiger by removing an arrow from its body. The tiger asked the hermit to use his powers to perpetuate their friendship after his death. The hermit agreed and when the tiger died, his body became a tiger lily. Eventually the hermit drowned and his body was washed away. The Tiger Lily spread everywhere searching for its friend.
The Tiger Lily stands for wealth and prosperity.
There is a superstition that smelling a Tiger Lily will give you freckles.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Tiger Lilies that bloom at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. If you happen to stay during the month of July, please stop and take a moment to smell these beautiful flowers that originated here so long ago.
I thought I would also share with you this old winter 1965 black and white photo taken of my grandpa’s garden, the outhouse and windmill. The Tiger Lilies stood right next to the outhouse.
Guess who’s back???? Last year was our first successful Eastern Bluebird nesting season here at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. Over the summer we had three successful nestings from our resident pair of Eastern Bluebirds, Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird. They raised three babies from the first nest, five from the second, and two from the third right here in our own back yard. Guests had an opportunity to view these beautiful birds as they raised their families right out our kitchen window. Their really is a reason for the saying the “Bluebird of Happiness”. I cannot tell you how much joy this pair of birds and their offspring brought to not only us but our guests as well. This pair cost me a small fortune, as I made several trips a week to pick up wax worms for them to help feed their babies. They had their own plate on a stump in the corner of the yard and they visited it daily. We have not been able to identify Mrs. Bluebird yet this year but two bluebirds were seen together a short distance from the nest box on Saturday. We have been able to get several photos now of Mr. Bluebird.
Here is a photo of Mr. Bluebird taken yesterday March 13th. He had just been visiting the nest box and stopped for a few bites of suet at the feeder. I had picked up a small container of wax worms upon their return on Saturday and he also stopped for a few bites there also.
Here is Mr. Bluebird letting us know the wax worms are gone. Stay tuned for further updates on our resident pair Eastern Bluebirds. I am hoping for another successful nesting season again this year! Have a great day!
Join us this summer at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House and enjoy one or more of the plays at Timberlake Playhouse’s 54th season! Go to any of the 2015 summer season’s plays during mid-week (Sunday through Thursday) and receive the special rate of $89.00 per night (for two people) at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. (Complimentary breakfast is included). Special rates do not apply for Friday and Saturday nights. Regular price is $129.00 per night (for 2 people), so you will save $40.00 per night that you can apply toward your ticket costs. It is almost like going to Timberlake Playhouse for FREE! You may use this rate for up to a 5 night stay (Sunday through Thursday) and enjoy many of the other attractions that Carroll County, Illinois has to offer. You must mention TIMBERLAKE PLAYHOUSE when making your reservations. Call Connie now at 815-565-0024 or email email@example.com to confirm your reservations. Enjoy the play and I know you will love your visit to the country at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House!
Here is the 2015 Timberlake Playhouse Schedule:
HAIRSPRAY June 4-14
Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman; Book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters
The 1950’s are over and change is in the air! HAIRSPRAY, winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical piled bouffant high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs. It’s 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire — to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network, all without denting her ‘do!
THE BIG MEAL June 18-27, 2015
a play by Dan LeFranc
A stunning, big-hearted play that spans nearly eighty years in roughly ninety minutes, THE BIG MEAL tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary family. Somewhere in America, in a typical suburban restaurant on a typical night, Sam and Nicole first meet. Sparks fly. And so begins an expansive tale that traverses five generations of a modern family, from first kiss to final goodbye. Though it premiered in 2011, THE BIG MEAL already feels like a classic; Pulitzer Prize Winner Annie Baker called it “The greatest play ever written.”In the spirit of Thornton Wilder’s plays (Our Town, The Long Christmas Dinner), THE BIG MEAL is humorous, human and ambitious.
PETER PAN July 2-12, 2015
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh; Music by Morris “Moose” Charlap; Additional Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Additional Music by Jule Styne; Original Direction & Choreogrpahy by Jerome Robbins Based on the play by Sir James M. Barrie
For the first time ever at Timber Lake Playhouse, Broadway’s timeless classic musical whisks you away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Featuring the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land,” and a rousing book full of magic, warmth, and adventure,PETER PAN is the perfect show for the child in all of us who dreamed of soaring high and never growing up. This Tony Award-winning musical has been performed around the world and delighted audiences for 60 years since Mary Martin first taught us to fly.
GREATER TUNA July 16-25, 2015
GREATER TUNA is the hilarious comedy about the third smallest town in Texas, where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies. The eclectic band of citizens that make up this town are portrayed by only two performers, making this send-up of life in rural America even more delightful as they depict all of the inhabitants of Tuna — men, women, children and animals. The action takes place in the early Eighties, though nothing in Tuna has changed since then, anyway.
BIG FISH July 30-August 9, 2015
Book by John August; Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa; Based on the novel BIG FISH by Daniel Wallace and the Columbia Motion Picture written by John August
Based on the celebrated novel and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, BIG FISH is the story of Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman whose incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his adoring wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales, hoping to reveal the real man behind the rollicking fantasy life. Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stage magic BIG FISH is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre – for an experience richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself. “A heartfelt, powerful and movingly scored new American Musical …” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune.
BIG RIVER: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn August 13-23, 2015
Propelled by an award winning score from Roger Miller, the king of country music, this journey down the mighty Mississippi provides a brilliantly theatrical celebration of pure Americana. Twain’s timeless classic is played out by actor-musicians to the sound of country and bluegrass as irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom at the mouth of the Ohio River. Their adventures are hilarious, suspenseful and heartwarming, bringing to life our favorite characters from the novel-the Widow Douglas and her stern sister, Miss Watson; the King and Duke, who may or may not be as harmless as they seem; Huck’s partner in crime, Tom Sawyer, and their rowdy gang of pals; Huck’s drunken father, the sinister Pap Finn; and the lovely Mary Jane Wilkes.
Thursday morning, March 26th, 2015 marked the official opening of Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. Even though Roberts’ Roost had opened in the fall of 2014, today was the official “Ribbon Cutting” Ceremony with the Savanna Chamber of Commerce. Many thanks to the Savanna Chamber Executive Director, Pam Brown for organizing the event. Thank you to those that attended: (left to right) Mary Stebbins, Chris Lain, Nancy Lawfer, Curtis Hunsaker, (Dennis and myself) Jon Darrow, Lynn Collins, Linda Grissinger, Pam Brown, Lori Ferris, and Mayor Tony McCombie. Also in attendance (but not in photo) was Tom Kocal from The Prairie Advocate, and Pam Villalobos from the Savanna Times Journal and Pam Darrow.
Mt. Carroll “Chamber After Hours” Thursday Evening, April 2nd 5:00-7:00
Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House will also be hosting the Mt. Carroll Chamber of Commerce “Chamber After Hours” on Thursday April 2nd from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Please stop by to visit if you are in the area. Refreshments will be served and tours of Roberts’ Roost will be given.
Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House “Open House” Saturday, April 4th 10:00-6:00
Be sure to join us for our “Open House” on Saturday April 4th. Tours and refreshments begin at 10:00 am. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, fruit, cheese, dessert, coffee, and ice tea. Savor Silver Moon wine tastings from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Our Guest House will be decorated for “Spring” courtesy of Picket Fence and we will showcase Prairie Path Sampler handcrafted bird houses and other treasures. Don’t miss the open houses of “Picket Fence” in Lanark and “Prairie Path Sampler” in Mt. Carroll, starting on Friday, April 10th and continuing Friday’s and Saturday’s in April.
All River Road Talent “ARRT” Art Drive Saturday April 4th 10:00-6:00
In addition to our open house, we are simultaneously a part of the “ARRT” All River Road Talent Art Drive. Connie Zink (owner of Roberts’ Roost” will be “Celebrating our Rural Heritage” with her images of “Old Barns”, along with many of her nature photos. Please stop by for refreshments and a presentation of her artworks.
Hope to see many of you soon!
Winter has arrived at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House in Savanna, Illinois. Looking for a private, cozy place to stay after a day of skiing at Chestnut Mountain Lodge outside of Galena, or a day of Bald Eagle watching on the Mississippi River? If you love bird-watching you will love Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. We have bird feeders around the entire perimeter of the yard that provides an abundance of birds to view such as Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, Black-capped Chickadees, American Goldfinch, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Downy Woodpeckers . Red-tailed Hawks and an occasional Bald Eagle soar over the valley adjacent to Roberts’ Roost. White-tailed deer can be spotted on the hillside with an occasional visit to the yard, for the shelled corn set out for the squirrels.
Inside, stay warm and cozy with a good book, a board game, or 150 channel TV. Hot chocolate and popcorn await your visit. Reservations (with 48 hours advance notice) will also have chocolate chip cookies upon arrival. Book now for your private winter getaway! Call 815-565-0024 or 815-656-1542 or email: RobertsRoostCountryGuestHouse@gmail.com
And The Winner Is………… Vickie Zinanni!!!!! Vickie, you have won the free two night stay at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House for 2015. Your stay is good for two consecutive nights, anytime during the calendar year 2015. (Dates are subject to availability so please book your stay early). You must use your free stay in 2015, the offer expires December 31st, 2015 Happy New Year!!!! Vickie, we are looking forward to meeting you in 2015.
Connie and Dennis Zink
Awhile back, I saw a photo on Facebook of this Stone Arch Bridge just outside of Lanark, Illinois. The photo had been posted by Sherry Vidinich of “Hickory Hideaway Cabins” I must say I have lived in Carroll County for all 61 years of my life and never knew this beautiful old Stone Bridge existed. I had never driven on Stone Bridge Road, just on the west edge of Lanark, even though I have drove by it hundreds of times in my lifetime. When I set out to find this bridge, after the photo I had seen intrigued me so much, I actually ended up discovering a second bridge I had never known about.
When you say Stone Arch Bridge in Carroll County, what comes to people’s minds is a more historic one that reportedly Abraham Lincoln camped by in 1832. The history is rich for this Stone Arch Bridge. As far as I can tell, this one is no longer visible from the highway, but there is a historical marker for it along Highway 52 and 64 close to the Carroll County / Ogle County line. Here is a photo of that marker.
Here is a link to a complete article on our “Carroll County Tourism” website about this historic old stone bridge. http://visitcarrollcountyil.com/stone-arch-bridge/
After discovering the historic bridge marker yesterday, we went on to find the beautiful old bridge I took the photo of above. The “Bridge That Goes To Nowhere”, how I would love to know the history of this remarkable landmark that has stood the test of time.
Yesterday, I took “the road less traveled because it was the right road at the time” for me. Seeking peace and solitude, and a beautiful sunset, I found it on a little known back road in Carroll County, Illinois.
There are many more back roads to discover in scenic Northwest, Illinois, please stay with us at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. Tranquil days, peaceful nights, and nature’s serenity awaits you. Book your reservation and “Explore Carroll County” today!
Bald Eagle viewing in Northwest Illinois, is some of the best in the Midwest! Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House is your place to stay to enjoy your visit to see the Bald Eagles. Located only 15 minutes away from Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and 20 minutes away from Lock and Dam 13, one of Illinois “hotspots” for Bald Eagle viewing in winter, in Illinois. Bald Eagle viewing is excellant along the Mississippi River as it winds it way along the edges of Carroll and Whiteside counties.
This photo was taken in the public area of Lost Mound Unit at the Observation Deck on September 21st, 2014.
This photo was also taken along River Road at Lost Mound Unit, on September 21st, 2014.
During the winter season, Bald Eagles are in abundance in Northwest Illinois. Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House provides you with a home base, quiet country retreat, while visiting the area to see the Bald Eagles. Please see our website www.RobertsRoostCountryGuestHouse.com for complete information on your stay.
For more information on upcoming Bald Eagle tours sponsored by Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge this winter please visit www.stewardsumrr.org
Bald Eagle viewing tours will start in January.
On Sunday, September 7th, Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House held its first “Owl Call”. Friends of ours, Bob and Sandy Walton conduct the “Owl Prowls” that take place twice a year for the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge. After seeing both Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls and hearing Eastern Screech Owls at Roberts’ Roost we decided to give “Owl Calling” a shot, on an evening close to full moon. The weather was beautiful, the marshmallows, graham crackers and candy bars tasty, and the owls were cooperative. It took about 15 minutes of Bob calling Barred Owl calls for them to answer. We had a pair of adults, with what sounded like a juvenile, that flew into the edge of the woods across the field from where we were sitting. They carried on quite the conversation with Bob, back and forth along with a lot of what are called the “Monkey” calls. There were also two more Barred Owls quite a distance away, calling from the surrounding woods. Thanks to Bob and Sandy Walton, our neighbors, John, Sarah, Trap, and Eva, and our kids, Stacie, Kenny, and Alyssa for a memorable evening at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House!