Sunday Stroll

Thursday’s trip out to Old World Wisconsin was full of so many wonderful moments that I’m going to take up several posts to cover them all.  This one is about the natural world. 

Driving County Road Lo west, past farms and ranches and parks, we spotted an animal in the road and stopped.  This is what we saw:

I thought this bird might be injured because it did not fly away when we drove past.  In fact, an SUV going east almost ran right over it, and it didn’t change course!  I decided to put on my fire gloves and see if I could pick it up and move it out of the road.  By the time I got within 8 feet of it, though, it flew off.  I guess a lady with big green gloves is a lot scarier than a Chevy going 55!  Anyway, this is the American Woodcock doing his spring courtship walk.  Let me tell you, it’s fun imitating his strut!

One of these days, we’re going to figure out how to bring a sound recorder instead of just a camera with us on our walks.  I wasn’t able to catch the Sandhill Cranes on film, and I definitely heard them long before I saw them.  They were flying low over the river in the late afternoon sun, their wings so broad and slow they looked like giant butterflies.  They were too far away and too brightly bathed in light as I looked west to photograph with my little Lumix.  The little red squirrels that chattered and chased each other through the picnic woods were also to difficult to catch on camera.  Their color was exactly the same as the iron rust bubbling over the rocks in the spring.  We heard a loud “whooo-hoo” from the pines behind the picnic shelter, but alas, no sighting of the owl.  Woodpeckers, robins, cardinals, red-winged blackbirds and chickadees lend familiar serenades to our outings, but they don’t come close and hold still for portraits; at least not for me.  Their songs definitely fill in the atmosphere, as they’re doing even now while I type and Steve stretches beside me next to our open bedroom window.  Here are some nature compositions that I was able to frame:

That brown ball is not a rock, or a "horse apple", but a spongy fungus!

Carya ovata, the Shagbark Hickory

Audio cue: burble, babble, etc.

With a deep appreciation for all life and for being at one with it,