Little Hummingbird Friend

Little Hummingbird Friend

Eagle in our backyard

Eagle in our backyard

Hungry Baby Birds Baby Birds Hatching

How well I remember being young and foolish, although, when I was really young and growing up at my grandparents’ house in Kasota, MN, I had to grow-up quickly because my mother had to work fulltime. My little sister and I would spend most of our days, all day long, enjoying the woods and abandoned quarries located practically in our backyard. We would spend endless hours breathing-in the great outdoor air, creating “pretend” forts in the Sumac and playing hide-and-seek in one particular abandoned quarry there; as well as catching polywogs with a tea strainer from home.

Then, of course, I reached my teen years, and just sort of lost my mind (like so many teen-agers do). When did I begin to think about this paradox of life? Well, it happened like this:Yesterday, while typing away on my trusty computer, I noticed something moving in my peripheral vision. Automatically, I turned my head to look out the patio doors beside me to see a lovely little green hummingbird who was stationery in the air, but for his rapidly beating, tiny wings (not six inches from the glass)! It seemed to me that he was clearly attempting to capture my attention. Suddenly it dawned on me that I hadn’t, yet, hung-out our Hummingbird Feeders. This little bird was reminding me of my neglectful faux paux. Before long, Ralph and I were on our way to the store so that we could correct our serious omission.

My love for our fine-feathered (and other flying) friends sort of sneaked up on me. The years were progressing along. I’d grown much less taken-up with myself, when miraculously I began after all this time, to appreciate and enjoy my natural surroundings once again.

It never seemed to fail that, wherever I resided, some little bird would selectively build her nest on my balcony, (usually inside one of my flower baskets) and permit me to share in the awesome joy of her new infant hatchlings.

In retrospect, I suppose that this was destined to occur; my return to my childhood love of nature. A miraculous step back-in-time to one of my first and greatest loves (which was also destined to be one of the many interests that would eventually draw my husband, Ralph and I together).

As luck would have it, I woke-up this morning and, while sipping my cup of very strong java, I turned-on Channel 2, tpt-tv. There, right before my eyes on the screen, were several bald eagles soaring through the sky. I was instantly mesmerized. One of the truly great things about the nature program I found myself viewing was that it was filmed right next door to us here in Minnesota! I’ve always known that Wisconsin contains some wonderful, protected nature areas, but didn’t know the exact locations.

I began taking notes on the numerous locations, beloved by bird watchers far and near. (Ralph and I have a motor home that we haven’t used at all this past year.) Viewing this nature show quickly awakened the gypsy in my soul. I called Ralph into the family room from his den, to share the program with me.

After taking several notes on these marvelous locations I decided that I simply must share this information so that my fellow bird-watching nature lovers (who weren’t viewing this show) can learn about them, too. As for Ralph and I, we are soon to be nature-bound in Wisconsin.

1.) Woodland Dunes in Sauk County WI: On Rose Lake, there is a marvelous man who has created, over the years, a wonderful nature area for birds of prey. He has been “banding” young owls for thirty years there and now shares his fine-feathered friends with the public by showing the owls and permitting children and adults alike, to hold and pet them.

2.) Tiffany Bottoms, WI: Open only during the months of May and September; located on the Cherokee River. A few older gentlemen have renovated an abandoned, eight mile stretch of railroad in the wilderness, built and implemented a small train made-up of the old flatbed cars upon which railroad workers used to travel, two men at a time, to repair the railroad tracks and ties.

3.) Cathedral Pines: Located in Oronozco County, WI, where enormously tall trees house countless Herons who raise their babies in the tops of those tall trees. In a very real sense, it’s a sort of outdoor, Heron nursery. So they ask that visitors talk softly while walking the forest pathway.

4.) Little Turtle Flowage: Located in South Iron County, WI where the lovely, scenic winters grow so cold that only the bird who are able to drop their body temperatures 15+ Degrees are able to survive (along with the hibernating bears)!

5.) Julien Bay in the Apostle Islands of Bayfield, WI: Julien Bay is the island of The Singing Sands. I kid you NOT! The sands on this island truly do sing! Visitors are invited to run their palms over the beach sand or to just listen for the sand to sing in the breeze, all on it’s own! Breathtakingly beautiful scenery and migratory birds to view and to photograph!

6.) Lake Mills Wildlife; “Zeloski Marsh”: Numerous bird lovers go there annually during the month of April so that they can count the Sand Hill Cranes.

7.) Devil’s Lake State Park: Located in Sauk County, WI. A totally awesome nature area where beautiful migratory birds can be enjoyed and photographed year after year by young and old, alike.

I don’t know about you, but Ralph and I don’t travel anywhere without our camera. (While dating we went together on a really great Nikon D3100.) Should you decide to visit any of these wonderful places, I cannot strongly enough encourage you to be sure to take your camera along with you so that you will be able to enjoy the sights over the years that follow. Allow me to also suggest that you “Google” or “Bing” each of the above areas to learn more about the marvelous experiences available to you there.

As for me, I can hardly wait to leave!

Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



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