This weekend is our 20th Horicon Marsh Bird Festival. As we say “The birds will be here, will you?”
We are the oldest bird festival in the state of Wisconsin. If you are in the area this weekend come and stop by. Here is a link to our festival events.
Here are some of my favorite pics I have taken around the marsh.
there are 5 vehicles plus one abit further down and 4 vehicles have just left.
Quick Look! Well Charlie missed it again.
Study In Blue
In previous festivals we have ‘officially’ found between 119 to 166 bird species during the festival. The official list is birds located and ided during festival events (hikes, bus tours, boat tours and the big sit) and we maintain and update the list during the festival in the DNR Education center. That way people can stop by and see what has been spotted. Right now we have 4 Ibis on the north end of the marsh and we are hoping they hang around for the festival.
A great time for birders, nature lovers, and photographers. come and join us.
Well I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course this is the first tunnel and I still have to get through a second tunnel. 🙂 In the matter of a few weeks I will graduate from Moraine Park Tech College with my associates in Business Management. It is hard to believe that 16 months ago I was just starting this journey of returning back to college at age 52. WOW. After the first few months the learning curve smoothed out from a vertical takeoff into cruising attitude. ha ha Then at the end of the summer I should start with my online college and work towards my bachelors degree. I have done many group projects for various classes including a community service project for a local art center and bought them two new laptops with funds raised. I have written one marketing plan for a local business and a customer service manual. Once this semester is over I will add an integrated marketing plan for a different local business and a group internship with my local library which I have created a Then and Now book for them. It will be added to the library collection. Another big WOW. And all this doesn’t cover all the regular group projects of power point presentations, reports and papers. Man that makes me tired and proud writing that all out. And to make my life even more interesting I am gearing up for the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival which is the week before graduation. The term “hell bent for leather” can best describe my life right now. 🙂 And to add the cherry on top of it all out of my 6 classes two are ending by April 30th and another two by May 5th instead of going full term to May 15th. The way it looks now (fingers crossed) as long as I don’t screw up my final projects I should get 5 As and one B. That would give me all A’s and one B for ALL my classes since I started in Jan 2014. That makes me VERY proud and abit stunned. I wasn’t sure how well I would do returning to college at age 52. But there is still some smarts and life left in this ole gal. ha ha Ok I have to do a plug for the festial. 🙂 If anyone is looking for a fun birding time in Wisconsin check out the festival. The festival is May 8-11 this year.(always Mother’s Day weekend) Here is the website www.horiconmarshbirdfestival.com We have boat tours, bus tours, hikes, guest speakers and children’s activities. As we say “The birds will be there, will you?” The photo at the top of this blog is a favorite. I love the humor of it. All the birds are looking to the left except for one egret. so it is called “Quick look. Oh well Charlie missed it again”
It hit Oct 1st and it suddenly hit me that I hadn’t posted to my blog in some time. oops. Time has simply gotten away from me. Right now I am taking 4 classes and two of them are accelerated classes so that has kept me very busy. The two accelerated classes are Ethics and Human Resources. All four classes have group projects so that just adds to the time disappearing. But I only have acouple more weeks with my two accelerated classes then I get a break of acouple of weeks then I start my third accelerated class at the end of Oct and that will run till Dec. The third accelerated class is Sociology. Then you throw into the mix my part time job and you blink and a week has pass. And suddenly it is October! ha ha
This semester I am not taking any computer classes but I am using a lot of the technology I learned last spring. There are a lot of power points and acouple of newsletters I have had to do for various assignments.
I finally had a free morning and it wasn’t blowing, raining or just bad weather so I got out and did some photography. I went up on the north end of the Horicon Marsh and went around the auto tour. On the auto tour is a floating boardwalk and I went out and walked it. My photography club has a big assignment for our Nov meeting. There is a list of 12 locations and we have had since Jan to go out and take photos at the locations. One of the locations is the boardwalk on the auto tour. And I am finally finding the time to get some of these done. The beauty of going out this past Sunday was that it was sunny and zero wind. This made the water flat calm. I got some awesome reflection photos along the boardwalk. Some of them are almost an optical illusion. Hard to tell what is up and what is down. But more importantly I simply needed that me time to just mellow out and distress. It always recharges my batteries, relieves my stress and just plain makes me feel better getting out in mother nature especially on the marsh. And then to get such great photos on top of it all is just icing on the cake.
Here are several of my favorites reflections from Sunday.
Fall on the Horicon Marsh
My photography club will have an exhibition at the Seippel Center for the Arts in Jan and can each do up to 5 photos. I did have 5 picked out but I think I am going to switch out acouple of them for some of these reflection photos.
I hope to post more frequently in the future. 🙂
Enjoy the photos and I will update you on the classes in my next posting.
I don’t normally do silhouette photos so had to dig to come up with these. 🙂
These are about the only silhouette photos I could find.
Katrina in Mississippi
a thick fog blanketed the marsh on dawn with the sun struggling to get through
At Yellowstone Park they have Bear Jams. (a lot of cars stopping to see a bear)
At Horicon Marsh we have Duck Jams.
Last Friday I gave myself a goof off day. And so I went out birding and did some photography. On Wisbirdnet, an internet birding email service, there was a report of a rare bird being spotted on Dike Rd at Horicon Marsh. So I went out birding. I didn’t spot the bird at first but someone else had found it and pointed it out to me. I got abunch of photos. They were documentary only, not real good photos. But I did get this life bird. The bird was a Black Bellied Whistling Duck. The normal range for this duck is Northern Mexico and Tx and a small area of FL. And here is sat smack in the middle of Wisconsin. And I took some photos of the duck jam. The documentary photo of the duck. (look in the middle of the photo for the duck with a big white eye ring) And just for the cute factor I am throwing in a pic of a gosling (baby Canada Goose) eating a dandelion. Had a great time birding. And got some great photos. I will have to buckle down and start my homework for my summer classes this week.
Look in the center and see the duck with a large white eye ring and orange bill.
there are 5 vehicles plus one abit further down and 4 vehicles have just left.
Gosling eating a dandelion. It took some work but got it down.
Well mother nature is having mood swings. We ended up getting 5 1/2 inches of rain between Sat and Sun. But then it changed over to snow for Monday. We only got a light coating here but other parts of Wisconsin got several inches. Then a couple of days later it was back up in the 50s. Gotta love spring in Wisconsin. It is the only season where you can use your lawnmower and snowblower within a couple weeks of each other.
Well it is getting down to a few weeks left in this semester. So things are starting to gain speed as everything is coming due. I can’t quite figure out if I am behind, ahead or on schedule with all my assignments. So I will just make lists and cross them off as I get them done. 🙂
The one class I was intimidated by when I started this semester was Business Technology and Innovation. Learning about all the new tech when I hadn’t grown up with all this social media was a bit scary. But I have a great teacher and she has been patient with my occasional “huh?” moments. But as I became more comfortable with the new technology those moments were fewer and fewer. And since I am self-taught on a lot of stuff (word, excel, power point, presi etc) I have learned that if I just go in and play with it I will learn it. That seems to work best for me. As I have learned all this new technology the fog lifts. Now I can keep up with others when they talk about tweets, blogs and apps.
You will have seen in a couple of my past posts about our fund-raising drive. We only have a few weeks to raise the funds. But it going to be a great thing if we can get that new computer. It will make life for the director a lot easier. But in terms of being self-taught that was also self-taught. I researched online the best option for the crowd funding site and found the right one. Then followed the steps on the site and created the site. I also added a 30 second video about the Seippel Center. I had just learned how to do that in Bus Tech class a couple days earlier. I am going to do a 3 minutes video in the next couple of weeks.
The rest of my classes are moving right along. It feels strange that the end of the semester is only a few weeks away, I feel like I just started classes a couple of weeks ago. I think around mid May I will sit down and go “What happened to April let alone May?”
I have signed up for my 2 summer classes I am planning on taking. And I signed up for my fall classes.
I’ve been waiting for three days in a row that are in the 50s and I finally got it. Ahhhh spring. Happy dance. You can see some strange sights in the spring. Yesterday I walked out of my house and heard a duck fly over and it seemed pretty low. So I looked around and spotted the duck. It was sitting on the top ridge of my neighbors roof. Ducks on roofs? Then this morning I looked out my kitchen window and there was a group of 5 crows rummaging and squabbling in my neighbors backyard pulling out old garden scraps.
In school with some of my classes we have a blended day. That means we aren’t meeting in the classroom but we will have an online assignment. These days are spaced out throughout the semester. Well as it worked out this week three of my five classes didn’t have class. So it should have been a quiet week right? Wrong. 🙂 I was on campus every day. I had to meet my advisor to figure out my class schedule for the next several semesters. I am taking two classes this summer. One will be online and the other will be a video conference class. So once I got the schedule figured out I had to sign up for summer classes. Then I had to meet with my business group to create our next presentation. And today I am meeting with another student to help him with some homework.
So this week I have created two power point presentations, created my crowd funding site for my team building project (see my previous post), created a couple of 30 second videos for class plus several other assignments. I have so much energy in the spring.
I am also in a weekly bowling league. We bowl for the fun rather then the scores. So we have a lot of fun. Our last week of bowling for this season was Wed night. Won’t be bowling until next Sept. But that is ok. I be out birding a lot instead.
Things are starting to get cranking for our Horicon Marsh Bird Festival. That is only in a few weeks. It falls on the weekend before the last week of class. Thank goodness I don’t have final exams for my classes. That would be a major stressor.
After I help my fellow student I plan on going out and doing some birding this afternoon. I was going to go out early this morning but just couldn’t get out of bed that early. ha ha
Okay it is the first day back after spring break and they are calling for snow tonight. It is March 24th!!!!!! We are still running about 10 degrees below normal. I have a sneaky feeling it is going to be a long cold spring. In past years the daffodils were blooming already but nary a sight of them yet. If you can’t tell I am sooooooo ready for warm weather. I would be happy with 4 days in a row of temps in the mid40s.
But on the plus side I did get out yesterday to do some birding and photography. Found a lot of Canada Geese (like 1500-1800 geese), some sandhill cranes, robins and some horned larks. I did get some photos of geese standing on ice. But it was in the mid 20s.
But classes started again today. A lot of students were still out today so my team building class was 4 students short out of 12. Will be interesting to see how many make it to class tomorrow.
As I have mentioned before I am part of the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival. We have a running joke about the weather during the festival. It isn’t a proper festival unless we have one day of crummy weather. Well the last two years the weather has been great, from a human standpoint. It was a little warm for the birds during the afternoon. Considering that this has been a long cold winter and spring just will not arrive I am afraid that we are going to have a cold wet festival this year. But the neat thing is that birders are use to birding in all sorts of weather. We are a hardy bunch. And the birds don’t care what the weather is, they will be there. You can check out the festival at our website at http://www.horiconmarshbirdfestival.com
I am reposting this post since it looks like something happened to it after I posted it before. hmmmm Guess it is a Monday. 🙂
Well this is spring break so I am not going to post about school except in passing. It certainly doesn’t feel like spring break. After a tantalizing day in the 40s we are back down in the 20s and 30s. The snow is slowly melting but I am still wondering if spring will really arrive. But there are signs spring may actually arrive sometime in the future. Just not sure how far in the future that is. 🙂 Like I said the snow is slowly melting and the birds are actually singing. I have heard the cardinals, chickadees and sparrows all singing away. But it is still that in between stage. The snow is only half the height it use to be but the dirty snow is more apparent. And patches of grass are showing up but the ground is still pretty frozen. Not quite winter but not quite a spring day either. Guess I am just impatient for it to get warmer. We are still running about 10 degrees below average. I think after this winter I am more tired of the cold then the snow.This has been one of the colder winters on record. If we have to go through that much misery we should set a record for something. ha ha
Ahh but thinking about spring makes me think about birding and photography.
I am a member of the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival committee. The festival is the oldest bird festival in Wisconsin. We are working on our 17th year (if I have counted them right). I have been on the committee for over 10 years and have enjoyed it. I am in charge of selling of the hats, pins, t-shirts and am information central. I have to order the hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts each year. We put a different bird on the pins, t-shirts and sweatshirts each year. So when it comes time to order them I know spring isn’t to far away. The festival happens Mother’s Day weekend each May and we have to order the t-shirts in early March so we get them in time. I have a blast at the festival cause I get to meet people from all over the country as well as the world. I have met people from California, NY, TX and from all over the Midwest as well as England, Germany, Scotland and a guide from Mt Kilimanjaro. And I get to share the marsh I love with the visitors and talk birds. Great time for all.
I am hoping it is warm enough later on this week so I can go out and do some birding. I love getting out and around the Horicon Marsh. I will also have some time to do a bit of cooking. Haven’t had much time during the semester since I was busy going to class or doing homework. Especially the first few weeks when I was trying to get back into the swing of things.
I also want to do some photography. I have been so busy with school I haven’t had a chance to get out since the first of the year. It’s like going thru withdrawal. (I quit smoking about 17 years ago so I remember what that is like). Even if all I end up doing is taking a long drive and just seeing acouple of birds it will be out of the house. Just getting out and about in nature recharges my mental batteries and makes me feel good. And it relieves all the built up tension. Can’t wait till it is warm enough so I can open my windows and let a gentle warm breeze flow through the house again.