For the birds… I mean eagles

 About once a week my family & I are lucky enough to enjoy a family day. It’s a day our little band of 4 usually uses to have an adventure. True, we don’t live in a place where the natural world is an in-your-face wow — there is nothing like the Rockies or the Grand Canyon or the Atlantic nearby. There are plenty of nooks & crannies for discovery & lots of really incredible locales though. I tease my husband a bit about all the driving around, but truth be told I wouldn’t rather be doing anything other than making these memories with my family. We only get so many days on this big blue planet and I appreciate being able to make them special.

This week our adventure was visiting Prairie du Sac for Bald Eagle watching. I took some photos to share with you today.

This is the wintery wonderland we drove through to get there. Picturesque curvy roads & red barns.

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Hills that are vaguely reminiscent of Germany’s Schwarzwald. I can see why our German ancestors chose this area to settle so many years ago.

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The cities of Prairie du Sac & Sauk City do a wonderful job & welcoming guests to view their bald eagles.

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The cities are separated by the mighty Wisconsin River and it is a dam just above town that keeps water open and draws in Bald Eagle in great number to fish. In any given field of view you can see anywhere from 1 or 2 eagles to many more. I once captured 14 or 15 in one frame. It is pretty amazing to see! My daughter can never resist showing how ‘big’ she is — my husband & I debated if she qualifies as bald eagle bait or not.

Our day always includes a brunch stop at the Blue Spoon Café. For locals who haven’t been, it is like an upscale Culver’s (run by the same parent company!).

It was cold yesterday, so I started my brunch with some of their delicious coffee & a cup of their clam chowder.

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And then enjoyed a smoked salmon caeser salad. I love seafood & smoked salmon is a favourite of mine.

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With full bellies, we headed out to look for eagles. My son was also checking for black bears and pumas. Because he could.

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This bank across the river was clear of signs of bears. Awfully pretty, too.

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We trekked down to the riverbank to set up the scope so my son could get a good look at an immature eagle. While waiting, he found some tracks.  Bald Eagle, of course, although my son swears he also found signs of baby pumas. He really likes the idea of finding pumas.wpid-IMG_20130106_130921.jpg

Our last stop was across the river at Wollersheim Winery.

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Since a trip to California’s Napa Valley & studying abroad in Italy during college, I have a real fondness for wineries. I can’t say why, but I think I like them in winter almost as much as during the growing season.

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The grounds at Wollersheim are beautiful. The wine tasting, of course, the treat at the end of this little walk up the hill. I am not a connoisseur by any means, I just drink what I like. I am a fan of dry reds and brought home a bottle of their Prairie Sunburst Red. Usually I go with their Beaujolais, but I felt like trying something different this time. It is delish!

And, last but not least, all the driving to & fro included knitting. This was my car project du jour complete with one of my brand new Heidi & Lana stitch markers. They are so awesome!

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What a wonderful day!

PS — I started two new knitting projects & pre-drafted for a spinning one… look for updates on those in the coming days!

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