While hiking at Cherokee Marsh today, I came upon this deer with an eight-point set of antlers. Closest I’ve ever been to a buck like that.
I came across a dozen or so monarch butterflies today, enjoying nectar from the purple asters in Vilas Park.
When I first heard the hawk’s call, I was biking at a pretty good clip through a long wooded section of the Wild Goose Trail. I glanced up and saw two red-tailed hawks, flying side-by-side just over the trees above me. I kept pedaling, and about 30 seconds later, one of them called again. Looking up, the same two red-tails were following my pace, flying along directly overhead. Another minute or so down the trail, I heard a third call. Sure enough, both hawks were maintaining their flight position above me. I kept on pedaling, but didn’t see or hear them again after that.
About an hour and a half later, I was biking through that same wooded section of trail, on the way back to my car. My body was beginning to tire quickly, and I wondered if I had biked a little too far before deciding to turn back. Just as I needed some motivation, there in the middle of the trail was a hawk’s feather. I stopped and decided it was left there for me as a memento of the experience, and I thanked the hawks for their gift (of the feather and their brief companionship). It was all the inspiration I needed to finish my ride.
I caught these mallard ducks practicing their synchronized swimming routine.
A photograph I did not take, of a bald eagle flying 20 feet above the Yahara River in Tenney Park.
I spotted the eagle while I was inching along in the middle of heavy traffic on my morning commute. With the lakes frozen, I assumed the eagle was looking for a meal in the still-flowing river. I was so tempted to turn off, park the car, and spend some time wildlife watching. But you’ve got to pay the bills, so I continued on to work. I wonder if anyone else stuck in traffic noticed the majestic raptor in the middle of the city?