John Randolph, Hazelhurst, has been watching red-headed woodpeckers at his suet.
John Randolph photograph
Summer’s end is at hand, and as always for those of us who live in the North Country, we question its departure when it seems like it just got here. The first hard frost could occur at any time, and the wealth of flowers that we are blessed with now will hit that precipice, some collapsing as their cells freeze. (Subscriber access)
On June 24, Edith Barakat was in her house on Blue Lake when she noticed a large shadow cast on her wall. She walked over to her window to see what could be the source, and standing on her deck railing looking in her window was a turkey. When she told us this story, Mary’s response was, “So, you had a ‘peeping tom’?” (Subscriber access)
It seems like summer just got here, but on July 20, Callie and I were hiking on Powell Marsh when we were surprised to see and hear three greater yellowlegs, a shorebird that nests in central Canada and southern Alaska. (Subscriber access)
In mid-July, many people wonder why the woods become so quiet. It’s relatively simple – male birds sing loudest and longest during their initial breeding and territory establishment, and then to maintain their pair bonding and their territories. But once nesting has been successfully completed, most birds will only occasionally sing, if at all, and the woods become oddly silent. (Subscriber access)
Those heading out to lakes are advised to be on the lookout for blue-green algae blooms beginning to form on lakes and ponds across the state. Reports show blooms are forming on southern lakes and will gradually appear northward as the summer months continue.
On June 13, Jim Swartout sent me this email: “I encountered an interesting sight yesterday at our property in Minocqua – a doe with a nose full of porcupine quills. She seemed unfazed as she grazed in our meadow. I wonder how long the quills will last, and if there is any way she can get rid of these herself?” Subscriber access
The Department of Natural Resources weekly Outdoor Report indicates that ice conditions have improved on many lakes in the wake of colder weather, but noted variable weather conditions made for erratic fishing.
Many different species of birds winter in Wisconsin, making backyard bird watching a favorite pastime of many. Armed with camera and/or binoculars, the backyard enthusiast can spend enjoyable hours observing and learning. The bird watcher can even benefit the birds themselves, as long as the feed is high quality and delivered regularily and with due care.
Ice conditions continue to be an issue. The Department of Natural Resources weekly Outdoor Report cautions people about thin ice and potentially dangerous conditions on lakes throughout the state, saying there have been a number of reports of vehicles and anglers going through the ice.