Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Summer Places With Linda and Bill

 Rush Lake
Yellow-headed Blackbirds

During my summer months in Ripon, WI, Linda and I enjoy taking bike rides or going for walks.  Mostly, however, we bike, around four times a week and for a couple hours.

Among other places, Rush Lake is a favorite, around six miles from our start on the bike trail that begins in Ripon and goes to Rerlin, around twenty
miles away.

A dying and shallow body of water, Rush Lake earns its name; the birds and animals always surprise and amuse us.  This summer, I finally managed a photograph of a Yellow-headed Blackbirds, for many nested there.

In addition to Black Terns and plenty of Sand-hill Cranes, as the photographs reveal, we saw a rare visitor over the summer months, White-faced Ibis.

 White-faced Ibis

We also loved to ride on the paved road at Horicon Marsh, around twenty miles from Ripon. 

I believe that Horicon Marsh earns the distinction of largest Cattail marsh in the US. 

At least twice a week, Linda and I ferried the bikes to this spot criss-crossed with hiking trails we experience now and again with our bikes.

Linda and I now carry a bird and a flower book, stopping frequently to enjoy Purple Cone Flowers or the many Canada Goose families that waddle the road on which we bike.  Horicon offers an appealing selection of wild flowers and many species of birds; take a look at the pictures from this summer's fun.

Horicon Marsh Wild Flowers

In addition to Rush Lake and Horizon Marsh, we also walked on he trails at Coresco Park, located adjacent to Ripon College, where Linda teaches French for three more terms before retiring and joining me here in Peru, NE.

I think that we walked there together only once, thus the limited number of photographs.  We favor the other two locations that do not require mountain bikes.  

On a walk I took alone, a young buck startled me but did not bounce away, so I got a couple fun photographs.

In addition to our biking and walking trips, I also enjoyed watching the various birds and animals in the backyard, including the poor Chipping Sparrow parents who raise a Cow Bird almost larger than the two of them combined.

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