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March 23, 2010


Another beautiful spring day in the Riverway.  In the morning, I met with members of the Muscodaís Future Committee and DNR personnel to review a proposed walking trail around the village.  The new trail will utilize existing streets, town roads and DNR property and roads.  One vision for the trail system will be a series of loops that will cater to the type of hike or walk an individual desires.  A short loop may be around the village park on the existing path.  A longer loop may involve three or more miles though DNR lands adjacent to the village.  A hiker extraordinaire may wish to complete the entire perimeter, which would entail 8-12 miles, depending on the final trail designation (TBD).  At both Mooreís Lake and the Thiede tract, west and east of Muscoda respectively, birds were all around.  Sandhill cranes, geese and ducks, bluebirds, red winged blackbirds, song sparrows, blue jays, etc.  Even a juvenile eagle at Goodweiler Lake.  Stay tuned for more on the Muscoda trail.


Late afternoon, the sunshine beckoned so I paddled on a nearby backwater lake to take some pictures.  When I arrived at the boat landing, a juvenile eagle, possibly the same bird from the morning, was perched on the same tree.  When I exited the vehicle to unload the canoe, the eagle took off for more secluded environs.  As I paddled west, a raucous greeting from the flock of geese and cranes announced the arrival of an interloper to all within shouting distance.  I could hear the source of the cranesí trumpeting and carefully paddled among the button bush, staying out of sight as much as possible.  Coming around the last button bush, I was within 25 feet of the cranes on the wooded shore.  The trumpeting began in earnest as the big birds went deeper into the bottomland trees.  I left the cranes and paddled toward the equally noisy flock of geese.  A few pairs flew at my approach while others indignantly swam away.  I then turned my attention toward of mixed flock of mallards, goldeneyes and buffle heads.  When a portion of the flock flushed, I left them to their spring convention, not wishing to cause further disturbance.


I paddled up a small finger slough of the main lake and observed many large and small fish quickly exit the warm shallow water. Turtles were abundant but shy.  Emergent vegetation was already reaching for the surface.  I headed back to the boat landing with the trilling of red winged blackbirds in my ears and the sun falling lower on the horizon.  The eagle was back on his perch, the young sky king surveying his domain.  Despite my earnest efforts to paddle gently and quietly, I got a little too close for comfort and the young eagle left the dead tree throne, swooped and soared and disappeared in a course toward the river.  The chorus frogs had became warm enough to sing a little from the north shore but the lake was becoming quiet.  Time to leave the solitude of this backwater lake and head home.  Iíll be back to check on my friends again in the near future and see who else has joined the neighborhood.


Pictures from the journey.


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Last Modified:  2/15/2011 9:30:31 AM
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