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Category Archives: Wisconsin

It snowed a bit yesterday so I took a walk through the woods looking for colorful leaves that had fallen. I found a nice spot and decided to take some abstract photos of the leaves. It’s always a fun project in the fall.

 

These were taken in my back yard.

These were taken 10 minutes later.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

These are my favorite photography locations in Wisconsin. More photos can be found on my website.

 

Blue Hills

Crex Meadows Wildlife Area

 

Devil’s Lake State Park

 

Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area

 

Gile Flowage

 

Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area

 

Lost Creek Falls

 

Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area

 

Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area

Vilas County

 

 

 

I recently drove up to Crex Meadows to find out what was going on. Not a lot of wildlife to be found but I still managed a few shots.