Monday Night Blogging: Pictures from a Busy Weekend

It WAS a busy weekend! Visiting ICF all day Saturday, and hiking at a Door County Land Trust site yesterday, all took place in weather that felt more “late summer” than “early fall” – that’s weather we Wisconsin folk love, but can never count on.

Member Appreciation Day at ICF

On Saturday I had the good fortune to attend the Membership Appreciation Day held once a year at the International Crane Foundation – something I haven’t been able to do before because of scheduling conflicts.

A Black Crowned crane (native of West Africa) was so patient about the photographers!

A Black Crowned crane (native of West Africa) was a patient model for the photographers.

I do think that for the modest amount of the membership fee ($25 or $35 for a single; $50 for a family), if you only use it once a year – to visit the cranes on Member Appreciation-Day, it would still be a great bargain. The guided tours by the experts, the behind-the-scenes tours, and all the Q & A opportunities with the experts – that’s an amazing amount of access to the scientists who are protecting cranes all over the world for just the price of becoming a member.

Groups toured at Crane City during Membership Appreciation Day. At all other times this is an off-limits facility for visitors at ICF.

Groups toured at Crane City during Membership Appreciation Day. At all other times this is an off-limits facility for visitors at ICF.

And, or course you can also use your annual membership for free admittance for yourself and 2 or 3 guests, all season long. It’s just that on the once-a-year special appreciation day, you have the extra benefit of meeting and learning from so many of the staff.

I’ll be writing more about what I did and learned at Membership Appreciation Day, soon.

And a Short Hike at Legacy Nature Preserve at Clay Banks

I received a tip last week, through the Door County Land Trust, that a gathering of Monarch butterflies – a large gathering, I think – had been attracted to the Legacy Nature Preserve at Clay Banks, by its September-blooming fields. “Apparently they are stocking up on goldenrod nectar before migration south,” wrote the Land Trust’s Communications Coordinator, Cinnamon Rossman.

A well-defined trail through the tall grass, from the parking lot . . .

A well-defined trail through the tall grass, on a gentle up-slope from the parking lot to the top of a bluff.      

By the time I could check this out yesterday, there were no Monarchs to be found – no doubt already off on their migration. (Here is a link from the Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Manitowoc that explains the four generations of Monarch butterflies that occur in a year’s time; and the final one that is the migrating generation, the one that flies thousands of miles to forests in northern Mexico.) Despite the lack of butterflies, there was still plenty of blooming goldenrod, and it was easy to visualize how it would attract the Monarchs. We also enjoyed a good hiking trail from the parking to the top of a bluff, then down through fields and meadows to Lake Michigan below.

You can find Legacy Nature Preserve along Lake Michigan (at 1188 S. Lake Michigan Drive) in the area called Clay Banks. This is south of Sturgeon Bay.

More photos of the Legacy Nature Preserve at Clay Banks:

Goldenrod was first spotted at the crest of the hill.

Goldenrod was first spotted at the crest of the hill.

 

Then more goldenrod and Lake Michigan in the distance.

Then more goldenrod and Lake Michigan in the distance.                                                                

 

And there was a mass of goldenrod along a ridge, in either direction, about as far as the eye could see.

And there was a mass of goldenrod along a ridge, in either direction, about as far as the eye could see.

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3 thoughts on “Monday Night Blogging: Pictures from a Busy Weekend

  1. So glad you were able to join us and very sorry I missed you! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the day. We always love to hear how we can improve this event for the people who support us over the years. Best, Darcy

  2. Thank you so much, Darcy. This was the first time I’ve attended Membership Appreciation Day so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I sure was favorably impressed by what was offered. I sensed such a willingness on the part of the professionals to engage with the members and each other, and that seemed to make ICF a happy place to be as well as one that, I’m sure, is always interesting. And beautiful, too.

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