Skip navigation

Category Archives: Menomonie

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.

The first couple of weeks in September I had been working out in the yard mowing and repairing my mail box. As I was out and about I would see the occasional monarch butterfly in the surrounding prairie. I tried to get some photos but by the time I retrieved my camera they would be gone. I assumed that they were just a few stragglers hanging around the farm before heading south.

One day I noticed a couple of monarchs out by my mailbox so I went back to the house to get the camera. Of course, when I returned they were gone so I stopped to take some shots in the prairie. When I started walking back to the house I noticed several more Monarchs approaching. I followed them as they moved through the farm in a southerly direction. As they left the prairie several more took their place. I soon realized that what I thought was a few monarch stragglers hanging around was the in fact the fall monarch migration.

I should point out that on my farm I have a house surrounded by a large yard. Between the yard and the pine forest is a prairie buffer. The open land is shaped like a bicycle saddle. The back of the saddle is on the north side of the property and the nose faces the south. I spent most of the day watching the monarchs migrate through. They entered to property from the north and gradually worked their way south and out into neighbors farmland. In all I counted over 40 monarchs in the time I was out taking photos. The irony is that a few days earlier I had driven over 100 miles looking for a cluster of migrating monarchs and didn’t find any.

Most of the prairie flowers were no longer in bloom but I had been doing some selective mowing to cut down the number of goldenrod plants in the prairie. As a result the prairie flowers in the mowed areas were several weeks behind and were still in bloom. These were the plants that the monarchs were feeding on. I need to keep this in mind for next year so that I can provide food for the migrating monarchs.

 

I happened to be out cleaning humming bird feeders one morning and I noticed this Monarch Butterfly. Clearly it had just emerged and was in the process of drying its wings. It was around for a couple of hours.

 

Normally I put grape jelly out for the orioles in the spring. They usually hang around for a couple of weeks before going off to raise their young. This year I kept putting Jelly out and a variety of birds turned up to eat it.

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Baltimore Oriole

The Turk’s-cap Lilies are now blooming along the Red Cedar State Trail.

 

We were walking on the Red Cedar Trail earlier in the week and noticed a large number of Monarch Butterflies around. It looked like many of them had just emerged. We found this fellow on the trail trying to dry it’s wings. We moved it off of the trail so it didn’t get run over by bikers.

 

 

I noticed this White-tailed Deer Fawn out in the Prairie one evening. It’s mother was nowhere to be seen.

 

When I first started photographing birds I had a blind that I setup out in the back yard near the bird houses. This enabled me to get some great shots of birds building their nests and feeding their young. Several years ago I got the bright idea of moving some bird houses closer to the house so I could photograph from an window or from my deck. This worked great and I had a pair of Eastern Bluebirds nest in one of the houses. This year I had a bluebird check the house out but it turned out a House Wren finally claimed it. Unfortunately the bird house is under a bedroom window and the House Wren seems to start singing well before sunrise.

It was fun watching the wren build it’s nest. They use sticks and it proved difficult to get some of the longer sticks into the house.

 

There are a variety of flowers blooming this wee. The most prominent are the Wild Lupine and the Prairie Smoke. Orange Hawkweed, Goat’s Beard and Blue Flag Iris are also blooming. I used to see a lot of Blue Flag Iris around but most of it seems to have dissapeared.

I managed to photograph a few birds. I haven’t seen any Eastern Bluebirds nesting this year. Most of the nests seem to be occupied by Tree Swallows.

There were a pair of Canada Geese nesting this year. We were on a trip when they started sitting on the eggs. They were still on the nest until the end of this week. Most of the Canada Geese hatched their young two or three weeks ago and we were concerned that something was wrong. The first shot of the male was taken a couple of weeks ago. The second shot was taken of him earlier in the week when he was near the nest and looking depressed. When we went out yesterday both adult geese were gone and we couldn’t find any young. We concluded there was a problem and the young did not hatch.

Some additional wildlife around. This White-tailed Deer took of running. There were also a few butterflies around.

The grasses are also blooming in the prairie area.

The Prairie Smoke has just started blooming at Hoffman Hills. It is one of the first flowers to boom.