Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Linked Rivers, Mississippi - Arno March 2013

 All of the following pictures were taken while on our nearly nightly walks by the river.
The Three River's Park District has miles of paved bike and walking paths that I feel we are fortunate to be able to use. Years ago, before the construction of Hwy 94, there were private homes, and 2 hotels built on the steep banks of the Mississippi.
I remember driving Lyndale every Sunday to and from church, and waiting for just the right moment to be able to see a small valley of Iris. We marveled over the beauty of all those flowers and who it was that grew and tenderly cared for them. We met Laura years later because of the garden we were trying to get started on our front bank. She was out for a walk, we were probably weeding and she stopped to say Hi and talk flowers and one thing led to another...we still have some of the Iris she gave us. When the homes were demolished, the planners chose to keep some plants and trees that were already established, and Laura had a Magnolia tree that was thoughtfully left in peace. Right now, it is once again loaded with little furry buds just waiting for the right time to burst open and reveal a beautiful white flower.

Native grasses were planted in place of one of the hotels (the scary one) and something I would call a water garden (my hubby and I were having a discussion about whether it was or not). My daughter and I saw tadpoles and frogs in the water there when it was just made, and I'm sure there still are, but now it's so established, it's hard to tell, and I for one do Not care for woodticks, so I'm not taking a chance of walking through the tall grass just to get a peek at a frog, nor do I want to pick a tick off Annie (after it's been on awhile and is huge and grey and disgusting).
The grasses are gorgeous in the summer, but I think they have a lot to offer in the winter too.

The following are of two different sites taken on March 3, 2013
It's not very interesting in the late winter, nothing really is though at that time in Minnesota. The colors are brown, varying shades of brown, but still brown. Yawn!
I keep waiting for the huge ice chunks to float down, but I've only seen a few last week...I'm certain they will be showing up any time now (my husband disagrees with me).

 We did have one really exciting thing happen, because neither of us remember seeing these here before, Trumpeter Swans! We took a little drive up to Monticello last year to see the swans that hang out by the power plant up there and that was amazing...there were soooo many, but my normally very bird aware hubby doesn't remember seeing any here either. We counter six in all and are assuming they were all pairs.
I do not have a very high powered telephoto lens yet and I apparently am unable to hold still enough to take a clear picture (great camera.great lens.too leash on my arm.heart beats to hard...and that's all the excuses I can come up with)

They put in some storm drainage holding ponds, so after a good storm, we hightail it down to the park and see how much water is being held...ladies with small children...see what you have to look forward to when they have flown the coop??? Excitement! snort

My eagles! Yes, I have claimed them because I don't think anyone else could possibly get as excited as I do when I see them, even though I see people standing on the trail with their hand shading their eyes as they stare mesmerized by one soaring overhead. 
We've seen at least two adults and two adolescents. 
I was fortunate to have my camera with me this day instead of just my phone, and I was still a ways away when I spotted them, and I quickly turned on my camera, took off the lens cap and started to say a little prayer that they would stay put until I got at least one shot of them.

I got about 1/2 a mile further down and one of the youngsters soared right over my head. I am a slow reactor and as I first spotted him, instead of reading my camera, which I should have left on in the first place,  I dropped my jaw and made giddy noises, but thankfully, I was able to get a few shots of him.

March 17, 2013
No noticeable change

 Every evening at dinnertime, flocks and flocks of crows fly south. They remind me of swarms of locusts.

The following were from our Easter Sunday walk and it was SUNNY, such a nice change.

Our son Ethan has joint custody of Kilo, (he and a female friend of his used to be roomies and decided to get a rescue dog. Kilo lives with my son, but has regular visits with his Mom)
Please ignore the nasty looking prong collar, I know this goes against manymanymanymany people, but we've been using them for ever and they Work! And we have never harmed one of our furballs.

This is as close as I was allowed to get to this Great Horned owl before he got irritated with me an flew off.

My friend Hanne and I both live and walk near rivers so we decided to do a linked series, hop on over and take a look at her first river installment.


Hanne said...

Lovely post Janet - so many photos and lots of lines - I'll try to do better next time with some more writing and some more informations! Well, then again we'll have time to write about "our" rivers! The year just started!

Tracey said...

I loved these posts you did with Hanne. I loved seeing the birds, the eagles and the owl! How amazing. And, too funny about the chunks of snow floating down the river. Like, that would NEVER be a sight in my area. Ha!