Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tyke Hike #6 - Hartland

It must have been fate that the topic of today's Tyke Hike lesson was scheduled to be waterways. With the rain sprinkling throughout our trek, 5 wet but happy hikers enjoyed a scenic walk along the Bark River on this quaint, paved stretch.

Though the unfortunate turn for the worse weather decreased the numbers of families originally expected to join, we wouldn't let the chill dampen our spirits. Walking through fallen and falling autumn leaves, there were many opportunities to enjoy the wonders of nature.

My fascination with trees continues and this stretch offers up a variety of trees, including marvelous maples, towering oaks, and beautiful birch and basswoods. Though the living versions were a sight to see, I always am attracted to the fallen trees, especially the ones that have become homes to new life.

We also saw plenty of wildlife, from birds like cardinals, woodpeckers, turkey vultures, and various waterfowl, to what I recollect as my first sighting of a muskrat. I originally thought I was observing a woodchuck As it scurried away from my incoming attempt at capturing it on camera, its long slender tail gave its true identity away. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful wife who has a great knack for identifying all sorts of living things. We also came across a bunch of domesticated friends, including plenty of dogs on leisurely strolls and a quartet of horses, one which had marks that made it look just like a dairy cow.

As with every Tyke Hike, I prepared information to share with the hikers including facts about the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and information about a natural topic. Today's theme was waterways. Besides taking in the trail, I aim to educate my attendees, stopping to share facts and have conversation. This is also a great time to catch up on snacks, drinks, and diaper changes if necessary. With the weather working against us for the second straight tyke hike, much of my lesson was omitted. Either way, we all enjoyed seeing some of Wisconsin's amazing autumn colors. Plus, I already have lessons made for a future Tyke Hike.  Join us on it and see what Tyke Hikes are all about, as long as the weather cooperates.

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