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My wife and I drove up to Crex Meadows to observe the fall migration of the Greater Sandhill Cranes. About 40 thousand of them pass through Crex each fall. When we arrived at Crex we drove our normal route looking for wildlife. The fall colors were just about done but sill very nice.

 

On our drive we encountered a family of Trumpeter Swans feeding right next to the road. They seemed unconcerned when I exited the car to take their photograph. Our our return drive we found them on an old Beaver house.

 

After driving around the flowages we decided to drive some the back roads south east of Grantsburg. During the day the cranes leave the flowage and fly out to the fields to feed. You can usually spot where they are feeding by following the flying cranes. Most of the crops had not been harvested because of the rain. Those fields that had been harvested were covered with mud. The farmers must have had an interesting time trying to drive equipment in the mud.

 

We then drove back to Grantsburg to check into our motel and grab an early dinner before heading back out to the flowages. Not all of the cranes leave the flowages for the day. This one was feeding along the road. About an hour and a half before sunset the cranes start the evening flight from the fields to their rousts for the evening. The sound of them returning is something to hear. There were a large number of Trumpeter Swans resting peacefully in the nesting areas. Once the cranes started returning they caused such a disturbance that the swans started making their own  racket.

 

 

As the crane flight slowed down we decided to head back to town and try and get a few sunset photos along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

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One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to drive to Grantsburg, Wisconsin to view the fall migration of the Greater Sandhill Cranes. Approximately 40 thousand Sandhill Cranes migrate through Crex Meadows in the fall. This is a outstanding place to watch cranes because you can get up close to the cranes.  In the morning, at sunrise, the cranes start moving with most of them flying out to the fields southeast of Grantsburg to feed. The best time to see the cranes is mid October to mid November.

There are also a large number of Trumpeter Swans residing in the flowages. They are typically quiet but when the cranes start moving they make a lot of noise and the swans then start honking as well.

 

 

This visit was made in mid October when the fall leaves were still in color.

 

After stopping at Gooseberry State Park we drove up the shore for a brief visit to Split Rock Lighthouse. The color was just starting to turn.

 

 

After visiting Amnicon Falls State Park we drove through Duluth on our way up to Grand Marais on the Minnesota North Shore. Our first stop was Gooseberry Falls State Park. It is the most visited park in Minnesota. There had been a lot of rain during the previous week and the water was high in the Gooseberry River. I have been dealing with an Achilles problem so we limited our hiking.

Our first stop was upper falls.

This shot of middle falls shows the amount of water flowing in the river.

This is a classic show of the trees lining the river when the water levels are high.

A bench overlooking the beach area where the river flows into Lake Superior.

Normally not a shot I take at Gooseberry but I though it made a nice composition given the light and the colors on the trees.

Every year the last flower blooming in my prairie is the New England Aster. I’m not sure where they came from but about five years ago I started seeing them in the prairie. I mow the prairie every fall so they are spreading. Generally the asters in the area bloom earlier but I live on a hill and have heavy soil so mine bloom late. Since it is the only flower blooming it is visited by butterflies and bees on a regular basis.

Yesterday there was a Monarch Butterfly feeding. It better get moving south because today is snowing out. There were also a few Painted Ladies hanging around.

The thing I look forward to this time of year is photographing the Honey Bees. With the cold nights the bees overnight on the asters. In the morning they are hardly moving so it is easy to photograph them. One morning they were covered in frost.

Frost Covered Honey Bee

 

Two of my photos appear in the October/November 2019 issue of Lake Superior Magazine.

Herbster, Wisconsin

 

Port Wing Harbor, Wisconsin

 

My wife has taken up weaving after a 30 year gap in her weaving career. She has also created a beginning weaving blog describing some of her weaving projects. She asked me to take some photos of her weaving for her blog. The first items are dish towels. They seem to be a little too good to wash dishes with.

More on her weaving can be found at Canadian Hill Weaving.

The second project is a poncho which was finished just in time for fall.

The final project was a set of Placemats.

In late September we stopped at Amnicon Falls State Park. The area had heavy rains during the previous week and there was a lot of water flowing in the Amnicon River. Our first stop in the park was Now and Then Falls. The fall leaves were very colorful.

 

Several views of Lower Falls.

 

Snake Pit Falls.

Upper Falls.

Several other smaller waterfalls.

I’m seeing a lot of Foxtail on the farm as we go into fall.

I walked part of the Red Cedar State Trail this past week. Not a lot to photograph. It was a very foggy day. As you can see the leaves are falling but there is almost no color. The leaves are just turning brown and falling off of the trees.

I did find this fox tail that was covered in spiderwebs and highlighted in the morning dew.

There were quite a few spiderwebs along the trail. They were also covered in morning dew.

 

There are very few flowers still blooming. I was able to find a few Pale Touch-me-nots along the trail.