Tuesday, August 1, 2017
It was a beautiful Monday evening for a tyke hike in one of Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail communities. Eight outdoor enthusiasts kicked off the 41st Tyke Hike with a tour of Hartland's Public Library and its newest addition: the Ice Age information center.
After comparing heights to ice age creatures, exploring various ice age resources, and enjoying some ice age action figures, we read Lisa Wheeler's awesome story Mammoths on the Move before moving on out to the trail.
With this being a stroller-friendly section of trail. Embry assumed her usual post as hike leader while Oakley enjoyed a ride with me and Kevin, a fellow volunteer, pushed our stroller of supplies.
We walked from the library towards a nearby park. Along the way, we found a few spots for some natural exploration. We also checked in on an area of the trail that had done some garlic mustard pulling earlier in the year. It was awesome to see how the work we had done earlier in the year provided dramatic improvements to the landscape. I envision a service-themed garlic mustard pull Tyke Hike next year.
Normally, we like to trek down a bit further on the trail where we can sit by and/or wade in the Bark River. However, with the large amount of rainfall this summer, the water was a bit too high for a dip. We managed to have some fun killing time at the park instead.
Throughout the hike, information was shared about many Ice Age Trail related topics, including Ice Age Trail Communities, the Blazin' Babes, the 1,000 Miler Club, and our chapter's Walk the Wauk hiking incentive program. We also discussed some quirky tidbits about the trail, including enjoying the scenic Ice Age Alley that cuts right through the heart of downtown Hartland.
Our hike wrapped up back at the library, where we viewed the outdoor Ice Age display, focusing in on glacial landforms that are scattered all throughout the Badger State, thanks to glaciation.
Even though the numbers were low, the enthusiasm and fun was high.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Our tour of Wisconsin state parks continued with a visit to the very picturesque Hartman Creek State Park. With diverse habitats, a \variety of trails, and a well laid pout design, this park was excellent.
My wife actually visited the hike first without the girls, something we haven't done in quote some time. We trekked a few loop trails across a few of the multiple lakes within the park. We came across many things including Pope Lake State Natural Area.
As we continued. we had lots of birds and even saw this grouse waddle his or her way over within just a few feet of us. Maybe not the brightest bird, but certainly beautiful.
We continued over to Hartman Lake and found many more animal friends, including some Green Herons, a Cedar Waxwing, a hiking chipmunk. and some turtle nests that appeared to have been raided.
After finishing up this loop, we drove to the other side of the park to explore a segment of one of our favorite trails: the Ice Age Trail.
We traversed up and down and around this meandering segment. I, of course, stopped for some natural play.
When we returned to our home for the weekend, it was fishing time on Bear Lake. Embry has been enjoying her fishing trips now for four years. She always ends up catching the biggest fish.
The fish weren't biting to much this day, but the lake's resident bald eagle was quite active. We saw the pair fish, soar, and swoop, and heard them communicate in a variety of ways throughout our time on the lake.
The next day, we visited some local sites that Embry was excited for. In both the Animal Haven Zoo and JR's Deer Park, she had an opportunity to see and feed animals. Although a bit timid at first, she eventually opened up and wanted to fee every animal, even if they weren't receptive to her food delivery.
Having such a fantastic experience the day before, we decided to head back to Hartman Creek State Park, bringing along our most experiences tyke hiker. We decided on a new loop trail around Allen lake. Luckily for us, a park ranger was leading a fishing activity for kids right near where the trail was located.
After Embry caught her Northern, it was off to the trail where she took over hike leader responsibilities.
With basking turtles, woodpeckers, wild raspberries, and many trees to climb and explore, we enjoyed a wonderful time on the trail and made many new memories.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
As summer is in full swing, many animals have visited the trail camera. Unfortunately, a technological glitch did not allow moat of June's pictures to work. However, from the last few days of July 7, we had many exciting visitors. Not pictured are some of this past few weeks most frequent visitors, the cottontail rabbits, blue jays, and robins
|Double Fawn and adult|
|Mom and Young|
|Cardinal in flight|