Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nature

On Wednesday, August 17, we switched our campsite to a drier site at Chequamegon National Forest.  We had a few rain storms that left the site we were in wet with puddles.  This new site is brighter, which helps with the solar and with bringing birds in!

We just saw a rose-breasted grosbeak and although the bright pink triangle on his breast was mottled, he was a pretty bird nonetheless.

Several hummingbirds frequented our nectar feeder in the old site, and one scoped out our new site already!  Look closely to see the hummers:

Hummingbird on right side.


We are surrounded by beauty:






After a few days at the forest, we headed to Gilman,  a small town nearby.  We discovered a lovely little park created by the Lions Club.   What a little slice of heaven!



We haven't left this spot since we got here on Sunday, the 21st.  Although not a formal campground,  we haven't been asked to leave.  There aren't signs saying "no overnight stays", so we have felt fine here. 

The park sits on the Chequamegon Flowage, and the water we see here leads to a fishing pier.  It comes in from a big body of water to the south and it hosts lots of birds.  

During the day, the sun's been shining through clear blue skies.  It's been breezy making the warm weather perfectly tolerable.  The tall grasses in the water blow north in the breeze and harbor some ducks we believe are female northern shovelers.

This morning, the 23rd, we watched a hundred or so red-winged blackbirds take wing from last night's roost among the grasses.



The evening, though, is really spectacular!  The colors are golden as the sun gets lower and the birdlife gets active!  A few at a time, hundreds of sandhill cranes come in to roost south of us.  We can't see the roost area very well, but their bubbly calls travel on the wind to us. 


At least 2,000 blackbirds have gathered each evening and last night we saw over 60 common nighthawks, a rare sighting to see so many at one time!

Fall migration is starting to occur and not only are the birds staging for this, we have seen many monarch butterflies fluttering by on their way south.

And we have two young and one adult bald eagles soaring above us and then, talons forward, head down for a fish.  Really cool to watch.

Our plans have changed once again!  Instead of heading north to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, we are saving that for next spring.  Instead, we will depart Wednesday morning,  8/24 and head east.

We'll travel through Ohio, a bit of PA,  and into NY, where we will check out the Finger Lakes and head into Ithaca to visit the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology.   Looking forward to that!

From there we will go through western MA and onward to Cape Cod for a 9/11 arrival.  Our friends Sandra and Rick are letting us park our trailer on their property for our time on the Cape.  Then onto NJ to visit family and friends.