Fields of Sandhill Cranes and a Stop at the Swamp
Today my daughter and I took a drive to try and find a piece of property I have been wanting to visit. This piece of property that was looking for was swampland with public hunting grounds and was where my uncles and grandfather used to hunt during the fall. It was a beautiful country drive with views of fields of sandhill cranes.
During the late fall, you will see fields and fields of sandhill cranes trying to stock up for their long migration flight.
The sandhill flocks are generally mixed flocks of adults and their grown spring babies that will be making their first fall flight migration to head to warmer weather.
As the farmers cut down the corn the birds will go row by row to find the corn cobs that were left behind.
The reason the cranes are in a feeding frenzy is that they are getting ready to migrate down south. They need to store plenty of energy for the long flight.
This is an easy way for the sandhill cranes to fill their bellies. I took some time to do a little roadside viewing pictures because on the country roadways you hardly ever meet another car for miles.
At the Swamp
I wasn’t 100% sure I’d be able to get out and walk the swamp property because it is bow season. If we ended up finding the swamp parking and there were are vehicles parked, I wouldn’t have attempted to explore.
As luck had it, not a car in sight. So, we ventured out and explored a little.
It was beautiful! The rich autumn colors and bright white birch trees that lined the first open field were an open invitation to explore the property further.
I could see by the arrange of vegetation that during the spring and summer this area must be full of bird, wildlife and insects. That excites me!
The woodland area had a variety of hardwoods, mosses, and mushrooms of all kinds. Many of the mushrooms were well past their prime but still recognizable.
The remainder of the autumn leaves were softly floating down to the forest floor. It was spectacular.
There were a few huckleberries dangling that the birds had not eaten yet.
Most of the baneberry branches were picked over and some were still loaded fully. Banberries can be a milky white or shiny red. Eating as few as six berries can cause dizziness and severe stomach upset in humans. The berries have a conspicuous dot at the end of each one and one of the reasons the plants has a knick name of dollseye.
Additional Post: White Baneberry Flower
I was correct that there should be plenty of insects. I found my first evidence of life. This is a goldenrod gall. I have a separate post of this – and YES! That is an insect home 🙂
Additional Post: Gall Fly Produces Goldenrod Galls
Oh, and of Course! A Gartner Snake
Can I please go somewhere without running into one of these guys?
Time to head home walking out of the swamp area I some seed of bull thistle ready to reseed themselves for my visit next spring. I can’t wait to come back and see what this place looks like in full bloom and full of insect life.