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.

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 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 write more about my experience 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 monarchs – a large one, 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, a gentle upslope from the parking lot to the top of the 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 butterflies. We also enjoyed a good hiking trail from the parking to the top of a bluff, then down through fields and meadows a prair 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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