Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tyke Hike #3 - Hartland Marsh

Twelve happy hikers and our first four-legged friend joined us tonight for the third Tyke Hike. Exploring the beautiful Hartland Marsh area, we avoided all the rain, were ignored by the mosquitoes, and ended up witnessing and participating in a televised interview. Not too shabby!

Our hike was led some inquisitive youngsters and some older tykes who really knew their nature. I am always impressed and excited when I see young people sharing their knowledge of the environment and caring enough to be actively involved in protecting it. These youngsters taught me a great deal today as they, along with other dedicated members of the Lake Country-Hartland Chimney Swift Group, have taken a leadership role in procuring funds to build a chimney structure located right off the Ice Age Trail. This structure serves as a resting spot for chimney swift birds. The chimney swift is a migratory bird that travels from Canada down to the Amazon Basin and back 2-3 times in it's lifetime. This bird needs resting spots along the way and this structure can hold up to 1,000 birds at a time.  For those that might not want any more birds around, keep in mind that these creatures eat 1/3 of their body weight in mosquitoes every day.  I say, bring on the chimney swift! :)

These amazing bird-lovers had the chance to be interviewed at the turnaround spot of our hike. This was a very exciting opportunity to share information about their wonderful project as well as a way to get people out and about in nature.

When we weren't learning about birds, we were catching some toads, smelling some flowers, and admiring the "magic tree."  This towering tree is a vibrant green even though it's base is nearly hollowed out.  Magical. :)

I'm sure our next hike will be just as magical.  Come join us at the UW-Waukesha Field Station on Thursday, September 11th at 6:00pm to learn from an expert on prairie restoration and the biodiversity of Wisconsin's prairies..

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