Wisconsin Dells used to be a place known for its natural beauty made especially famous by the work of photographer, H.H. Bennet in the late 1800′s and early 1900s. It wasn’t long before “The Dells” became a popular vacation destination and it also wasn’t long before nature took a back seat profit-making.. The rest, as they say, is history. Today it’s still possible to find the beauty of the Dells, but often it comes attached to a time limit and a steep admission fee. To spend time really taking in what made Wisconsin Dells so popular in the first place, you’ll need to find one of the few parks or natural areas. The best option is to explore by boat.. if you pick the right time and can hunt down one of the few public boat landings! (OK.. a duck ride is not bad either!) Continue reading
Paddling near the Mirror Lake Dam – Wisconsin Dells
Today I find myself planted in front of a computer working on content for the Mirror Lake State Park website while listening to Queen blasting out of my surround sound speakers, “Can anybody find me somebody to love. . .” meanwhile CNN reports some 5% of the world’s internet servers are under attack. No Sh**!
I will watch her dive beneath, the white cascading waters, she may beg she may plead, she may argue with her logic and then mention all the things I’ll lose, that really have no value, in the end she will surely know, I wasn’t born to follow – Carol King
Here’s a picture I took while paddling Mirror Lake. Although her broomstick is only partially submerged the body was never found.
Sea kayaking feeds an independent soul. You hit the water and you’re gone…
But then you return to shore and again are easily encased in the mundane. Sometimes I just turn around and head right back out. Sometimes I can’t, but I sure think about it!
It’s the middle of the week again and I find I’m struggling to resurface.
So just a quick note today. I had hoped to make it up to the Paddle America event in Manitowoc but the morning did not play out that way. The next choice was to go out on Mirror Lake near Wisconsin Dells. This turned out to be a lucky break. Out in the slough Sandhill Cranes are nesting so I just slid my boat up unto a mudflat and watched the cranes for awhile. What a great morning!Cranes are spectacularly big birds. There are just 15 species globally and only two, Whooping Cranes and Sandhills are native to North America. Sandhill cranes can stand anywhere from 4 to 5 feet tall and have nearly a seven foot wingspan which you can imagine is pretty imposing from the seat of a kayak as you can see from the shot. I actually have a bit of an “inside” knowledge of cranes being that Baraboo is home to the International Crane Foundation and I worked as a tour guide & chick parent there for a time. Yeah, I know, “Chick Parent” is not a manly title. But, considering I’ve never been a chick magnet, “Parent” will have to do!
Also out on the slough were a few Great Blue Herons as well. Another big local bird. In fact Heron are often confused with cranes. That’s not really too surprising considering Sandhills come in shades anywhere from reddish brown to silver much like a Heron. In the air however, it’s pretty easy to tell the difference. A crane flies with it’s neck out and a Heron tucks it’s head back. There’s your ‘tid-bit’ of the day!
In addition the air was also filled with Canada geese who also nest in this part of the lake and a myriad other ducks and birds of many stripes and colors. In all it made for some very busy airspace. Much like plane spotting in a busy airport you could just sit back and note the many species and distinguishing marks within species as they buzzed over head or landed often just yards away. The crane in this picture was guarding a nest only 30 feet or so from my boat!