I’d driven through Wisconsin once, long ago, on the way to points far west, but Monday marked the first time I’d ever set foot on Badger soil outside of an airport. I like it.
The drive north from Green Bay on that funny pointed peninsula was encouragingly rural, with small farms and fields and orchards lining the roads. Eastern kingbirds and meadowlarks ornamented the fences, and high above it all American white pelicans soared, alternating blinding white with near invisibility as they turned in the sky.
I’m staying in Bailey’s Harbor, at the Blacksmith Inn, a quiet and comfortable place right on the water. My little porch looks out at a bit of marsh, noisy with red-winged blackbirds and yellow warblers, and then on to the harbor itself, happy hunting ground for ring-billed and herring gulls and prehistoric-looking Caspian terns. The little yard attracts chipping sparrows and American robins, and a busy American redstart has her nest and her still tiny nestlings in a tree just at the corner.
Dinner that first evening was in Fish Creek, an appropriate place, I thought, to have my first Great Lakes perch. The birds had the same inspiration: an adult bald eagle flew over carrying something scaled and struggling, and two black-crowned night-herons flapped past the restaurant windows hoping to catch their own in the dusk.
Here’s the complete list from the first day, if you’re interested:
June 23, 2014
Door County, Wisconsin
Canada Goose, Mallard
American White Pelican