Monday, July 15, 2013

Wrapping up the breeding bird atlas work

That’s my mission for this week, and it may be a good thing because the mosquito and deer fly populations are really beginning to try my patience in the woods.  As I slowly made my way along the road into the Wauboose block, mosquitoes were everywhere en mass; in my eyes, ears, and any little piece of exposed skin.  There wasn’t a breath of air moving to help me out, and bird song was down to a minimum. 


I did scare up a doe along the way.  I just can’t imagine how they deal with all of the bugs 24/7.  I surveyed Lower Egg and Big Egg lakes with no new results before I got an internal message that I had better hot foot it back to the rig.


Just like this doe was hot footing it away from me!  There are some of nature’s calls that I don’t mind doing out in the bush, but this was not one of them.  Sick smile (TMI?)

After a short refreshing ‘rest’, I headed back out and Rachel waved me down.  She had taken care of her early morning commitments, and was hoping to come along with me.  “Hop in”, I said.  I decided to change course and do the Booth Lake block in reverse for the remainder of the morning.  It was a good decision.  I have a pretty set route through the three blocks, and sometimes if you reverse the route you see different species since it is at a different time of the day. 

As we entered the Teacracker Trail portion of the block, we once again encountered Pepe LaPew!  Disappointed smile  We stayed back and let that little stinker wander off into the woods.  By reversing our journey, we added a new species or two, and got two more confirmations of breeding.  We finished up at the Chippewa Picnic area where I had an early lunch.  I’m out in the blocks early on survey days, so by 11:00, I’m hungry.

IMG_9152 Prairie Lily

Rachel had done a talk on wolves yesterday for the public, so we headed down the Chippewa Trail to pick up some flags she had set out for the presentation.  This trail goes through the prairie area of the refuge, and we found these lovely Prairie Lilies in full bloom.  With all of the green here, these vibrant orange and yellow flowers really stick out and grab your attention.

As we rounded a curve, Rachel spotted a wolf in the brush off to the side.  Try as I might, I couldn’t get a picture of it.  Dang!  There are a couple of packs that make their home on the refuge.  I’d love to hear their howling, but the area they seem to use is a far distance from my RV site.

Purple Prairie Clover IMG_9160

As we made our way through the prairie area, we found these Purple Prairie Clovers just beginning to bloom.  They’re like a bright splash of magenta in the landscape. 

Lead Plant IMG_9165A short distance from the clover, I found several Lead Plants… another brilliant purple highlight.  They got their name of Lead Plant because they grew on the dry soils overlaying lead ore deposits in southeastern Wisconsin.

We turned around about half way down the Chippewa Trail in hopes that we might get another glimpse of the wolf, but that didn’t happen.  After a totally overcast morning, the skies decided to open up and rain as we headed back to headquarters.  That was the end of any outdoor productive work for me today.  Tomorrow, my plan is to finish up the Wauboose and Balsam blocks if it doesn’t rain again.


                                                                              THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy