Earlier in August Arlene and Jeff Koziol observed a juvenile Green Heron in the marsh at Picnic Point. This is great news that the Green Heron, symbolic for Friends and the Preserve, bred successfully in the marsh. See more photos at Green Heron and watch for more details on Roma Lenehan's 2014 the Bird Breeding study in the Preserve.
Arlene Koziol spotted this Osprey flying at Frautschi Point, carrying a good-sized fish. Can anyone identify the fish? Please Comment!!!
Roma Lenehan reported on July 11 that the Sandhills cranes have a new colt, barely a week old. She observed the parents and colt by the Class of 1918 Marsh. The pair of sandhill cranes had been unsuccessful in their first breeding attempt this season in the Pond Marsh of Picnic Point. A new colt is wonderful news.
If you are aware of bird breeding activities and locations in the Preserve, please enter your information in the bird log kept at the Birding Bulletin board inside the gate to Picnic Point, or email Roma Lenehan.
Organic gardeners in the Eagle Heights Community gardens are purists: no pesticides and no engines. Instead diligent weeding and cutting the rye with the scythe. The area along the edge of the gardens that had been seeded with rye as a cover crop was mowed this week by relying human power. Anyone who has helped with a rye harvest knows how amazingly heavy rye is, especially when wet. The two workers in the field, Will Waller and Emma Schroeder, a PhD student with Bill Cronon, perform labors of love for the land.
It is this time of the year. The snappers and painted turtles of Lake Mendota are on their annual pilgrimage from the shallows of the University Bay marsh across the bike path and University Bay Drive to the edges of the Class of 1918 marsh and the gentle slopes of the new retention basin. It's time for the turtles to lay their eggs in the drier slopes of these areas, more protected from natural predators.
This journey is always precarious, and turtles get hurt and even smashed by cars. This year, the crossing was even more dangerous because the new metal turtle crossing signs, while attractive, weren't visible enough to drivers and because the new retention basin by Parking Lot 60 is surrounded by a chain link fence that was so close to the ground that turtles simply couldn't squeeze under it to reach the desirable more sandy slopes.
The first SOS call was raised by Mickey Schaefer, a UW alumni and teacher for 36 years, who bikes along Lakeshore Path almost every day and loves the wildlife there. On Friday afternoon she helped care for a turtle run over by a car; she got animal rescue involved, and she called me at home that the usual large sandwich board sign with the SLOW - Turtle Crossing was missing. By that time on Friday, the university was winding down for the weekend. But Gary Brown, Preserve Director, whom I contacted, got personally involved and confirmed that the current metal signs were too small to be seen.
Glenda Denniston is sharing her discovery of the nest hole a Hairy Woodpecker couple is proud to occupy at Frautschi Point.
Yesterday afternoon, the two growing owlets were observed being fed by Glenda Denniston. The bark of the tall spruce trees on the Frautschi Point path, just past the junction with the Big Oak trail, is an excellent camouflage for the owls. You have to look carefully to spot them.
I'm passionate about the Preserve. Gisela Kutzbach and contributors