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Tag Archives: Menomonie Wisconsin

Gilbert Creek Wildlife Area is Located about 7 miles west of Menomonie, Wisconsin. Its a place that I visit frequently in the spring for bird photography. It’s only about 5 minutes from my house so it is easy to get to. It’s also the place where I participate in the spring Midwest Crane Count.

As we drove up I noticed a Bald Eagle in a tree. It looked like it had just finished eating a rabbit. We watched it a while before it flew off. My wife noticed it was returning so I got out of the car and was able to get a couple of photographs of it in flight.

I was also able to capture a couple of Mallard Ducks in flight.

There are quite a few Canada Geese at Gilbert Creek but none of them are on the nest.

 

 

 

These are a few of the things I photographed while walking around the farm last week.

Black-eyed Susan

Berry Leaf

Butter and Eggs

Flower Fly

My wife printed, matted and framed six of my fall photos for an exhibit at the Menomonie Public Library. The exhibit will run through the month of October.

Bonanza Falls – U.P. of Michigan

Black River Harbor Reflections – U.P. of Michigan

Leaves Canadian Hill Farm – Menomonie Wisconsin

The Z Bond Falls – U.P. of Michigan

Lake of the Clouds Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – U.P. of Michigan

Leaf Hoffman Hills Recreation Area – Menomonie Wisconsin

 

The Touch-me-nots have been out along the Red Cedar State Trail. The insects seem to be enjoying them.

Last weekend was Farm-City Day in our area. It offered non-farmers a chance to get out and see what is happening in farming. Turned out the farm was just down the road from us. We drive past it all the time and didn’t even know it existed. We arrived when the event was scheduled to start and there were already over 50 cars in the parking lot.

After registering we boarded a hay wagon for a trip around the farm. I would have liked to walk around but I suspect the liability would be too great.

We drove past the barn where the new born calves are house. They stay with their mothers for a week and then are moved to this fully automated calf barn. Feeding is automatic and RFD tags allows the farm to monitor each calves food intake. Beading is sawdust made from old buildings torn down in the Twin Cities. As the calves grow they are moved through a succession of barns.

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We passed two large liquid manure holding tanks. The were cement with clay underneath to prevent any leakage into the ground water. Sand is used for bedding for the older cows and 99 percent of it is recovered cleaned and reused.

The silage pile was 36 feet high. An iron pipe is driven into the top of the pile so workers can use a safety harness when working on the pile. The pile is on concrete and any drainage is cleaned or pumped into the Liquid manure pit. It takes two people 8 hours per day to feed the cattle.

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The highligh of the visit was the milking parlor. It was circular and turned. The cows hopped on and when done milking hopped off. It holds 60 cows and takes 8 minutes to rotate. As we watched it look like two people were preparing the cows and attaching the milkers.

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The equipment to cut the silage is designed to scan the wagon and then automatically fill it to capacity before turning off.

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The equipment to spread the liquid manure places it in the ground rather than spreading it on the surface.

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The farm expects to milk 2,000 cows next year. My grandfather had about a dozen.

 

 

This is one of my favorite locations to photograph the spring colors. It was a bit early to get any green but the maples were starting to flower creating some beautiful reds. I find photographing the spring colors almost as much fun as photographing the leaves turning in the fall. These were taken from the top of the tower at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area.

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More spring photographs from Hoffman Hills can be found on my website.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog I had a family of House Sparrows show up this summer. Earlier this winter they brought all of their relatives and friends. At first they were feeding off of the ground which didn’t bother me too much but now they have moved to the feeders.

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I think I have my mother’s gene because she used to feed the birds and squirrels and then get mad when they ate too much. I feel this way about the House Sparrows.

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Since there isn’t much I can do about it I might as well make the most of it and try and get some good photos of them. I could probably become a Republican and remove all of the food from the feeders but that would just hurt the rest of the birds.

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