Where the Birds & Bears Take You

It’s been a while since I’ve shared an outdoor adventure here. Partly because I’ve had a lot of good crafty things going on and also because our family adventure time has been a little more limited lately. When we’ve made the time for gallivanting, I’ve been more focused on being in-the-moment than snapping pictures. In any case, today I thought I’d share a couple recent jaunts with you. Brace yourselves for wintry landscapes! Because you know what? It’s still winter here!

A week or so ago we actually got about a foot of fresh snow. It was not bomb-cyclone style intensity, but it was snowing for a good 24-36 hours straight. On the evening it was meant to wind down, my hubby saw on social media that someone one street over had had black bear tracks in their yard the night before and Mr. Knitting Sarah was instantly in adventure mode. “We have to go take a walk to see if it’s out there tonight!”

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How I get talked into these things, I will never know.

For those worrying or thinking we’re those people — you know — the ones who ruin it for everyone, winding up attacked by bears or provoking bad behavior, I promise we are not. We have a lot of experience viewing wildlife in nature and have great respect for nature in all its forms. We always give animals large & small plenty of space and follow proper etiquette to keep everyone safe. We will, however, obviously go out to view wildlife when possible. But I digress. Suffice to say, on this particular evening we enjoyed a peaceful, quiet walk and once the wind was at our backs, it was easy to appreciate the beautiful snowy night. No bears nor bear tracks were spotted, but we made a wonderful memory as we marked 1 full year in our new home.

The following day, we made a trip about an hour or so north of home to one of our favorite parks.

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There’s a waterfall in there and, obviously, the falls were more treacherous than normal because the deep snow — up to my thigh in some drifted spots — made it hard to see where one boulder stopped and the next started or, more perilously, where one boulder stopped and the waterfall started. We were extremely careful and cautious, of course.

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Thankfully, in this landscape the picturesque does not require endangering oneself. It’s all around.

This day also took us to a slightly less scenic outpost…

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You see, a power plant not too far from our home is the nesting spot for a pair of Peregrine Falcons and as birders and amateur naturalists we went to see what we could see. The truth is, from this spot you cannot see a whole lot at this point because the birds spend a whole lot of time warming their four beautiful orange-y eggs.

Thankfully, there is a camera that has a live stream of the nesting site.

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You can check it out here, but be warned that it’s very, very addictive. Sure, 95% of it looks like nothing more than a bird sitting on gravel, but if you leave it on or watch long enough, you’ll hear these amazing birds calling to each other and possibly to their own little ones still in their eggs. We’ve been lucky enough to see the birds off the nest and once we even heard what have must be them circling over the nest because you could hear their constant calls come close and then fly off repeatedly. Was there a predator? Were they flying with their mate? Oh, the intrigue! Forget humans on realty television, this is so much better!

I often have the live stream open in an extra window on my desktop with the volume on very low — you can usually hear when something is amiss and then the kids and I run to the screen and toggle over to see what’s happening. Sometimes I grab screen shots when I can. This is a personal favorite…

adorable peregrine

Because, you know, hello there Birdie!

Somwhere after the waterfall and Peregrine adventures I finished my Iron Blue from Three Waters Farm

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So I can finally finish up my handspun Brillig project one of these days. It’s a bit less overtwisted than the first skein and I believe it’s because I plied on a faster whorl, more suited to the whorl I made the singles with. Thankfully, I believe the weight will be close enough that it won’t stand out from the first skein despite being spun 6months apart. Alas, this project will need to wait just a bit longer.

You see, I’m working on a very special handspun project that has a deadline.

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It’s currently miles of moody purple handspun garter stitch soon to meet a lace border and edge. I’m loving working on it and it’s “due” in a couple of week, so I’m devoting most of my free time to this to be sure I have plenty of time to finish, wash, and block this dreamy piece.

Just in case, this all wasn’t adventure and scenic enough for you with my customary dash of fiber arts…

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We had a beautiful (and less wintry!) day yesterday as we trucked ourselves down to Necedah Wildlife Refuge. We saw nearly 40 species of birds including a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks, two separate Whooping Cranes, a Loon, Buffleheads, Purple Finches, and, well, about 35 other kinds of birds! (One of these days I swear I’m going to get a bird list going somewhere here on knittingsarah.com) Oh, and I best not forget, we also spotted this guy…

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Mr. Knitting Sarah trekked the kids into the woods to get this photo while I stayed back at the car as my hip does not love bushwacking. I do, however, get credit for spotting him. For the record, if you are ever driving down a backroad in the central forest or northwoods of Wisconsin and you see a large dark circle in a tree, you could very possibly be looking at a porcupine. You had better stop, grab your binoculars or spotting scope, and take a closer look!

Is that enough adventure for one day?

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Moose says and emphatic YES. After running most of yesterday followed by what could basically could be called an aromatherapy bath with coconut smelling shampoo, this morning Moose was super tired and had no interest in getting out of bed.

8 hours later if I just swivel my chair…

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Yup, still tired. I wonder if he’ll be up for his afternoon walk today? Poor Moose, we can’t help that you’re so tuckered out — we just go where the birds and bears take us!

10 thoughts on “Where the Birds & Bears Take You

  1. I always love your adventures and getting to share them via your great photography – the Peregrine Falcons and eggs, and the porcupine are SO cool – and the waterfall, WOW! LOL at what a mess Mr. TKS is and how you just say, “Sure, let’s go look at bears!” 🙄 Seriously, I’m glad you teach your kids such wonderful things about nature, but POOR MOOSE – OH, the ABUSE! Oh yeah, pretty nice spinning and knitting too.😘

  2. Wisconsin is such a great state! We have a cabin outside Tomahawk. You are so lucky to have seen two whoopers in the wild! My sister lives near Plainfield and has seen them. Have you ever been to the international crane foundation outside baraboo? Great place.

    1. You know, we really love Wisconsin, too! We are only a couple hours from Tomahawk. We have extended family that has a cabin north of Medford – we love the northwoods so much!

      We used to live down between Madison and Fond du Lac and made an annual trip out to the Crane Foundation! I’m very excited to be going back this summer for an event they are holding – it’s such a cool place!!!

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