MMM: Wisconsin Dells
Mostly Madison Mondays – a howdoyoudo from my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin
While it’s true this tale and these pictures were taken at the Wisconsin Dells, this post is less
We’ve lived in Madison two-and-a-half years and have never been to the Dells (an hour away) but with our nephews visiting last week it seemed the perfect outing. We spent a day at Kalahari‘s Indoor Water Park and Theme Park and a good time was had by all.
We arrived about 30 minutes before Farrah Star’s nap so I splashed around with her for a bit and then spent the next two hours trying to get her to sleep – while inside a theme park. I wore her and paced endlessly, I snuck in to a $200/day private cabana and tried to lay her down and then lie down with her. Fail. Then more pacing. Nursing while sitting in a chair. Pacing. Eventually I did what I was trying to avoid – left my family and the park and drove around aimlessly. She was asleep in five minutes. Cruising around the Lake Delton area for the next hour minimum, I eventually did what I wanted to – parked alongside a water spot and looked for birds.
This little nook was a treasure trove of creatures, I would have loved to have been in a canoe in the middle of it, the life I would capture! But stuck at the shore with only my 135mm lens, I settled into my role as observer rather than documentarian. I did manage a capture here and there
but ultimately I just stood still and played witness. Suddenly something made me look down, a direction a birder never seems to glance, and I was rewarded.
Perhaps not as sexy as a bird but I was pleased this beaver felt so comfortable so close to me.
Absolutely made my day.
Back home the next day and enjoying a walk in Owen Park, I remembered the lesson of looking down and came across what I assume was a fallen hawk.
So difficult to see a bird of prey dead on the ground in its own environs – any bird for that matter – but definitely a bird like this. Arlo – “Maybe a man came with his gun and shot it dead!” Guns. He has reached that age.
More likely was that it was attacked by crows which Kris and I have seen time and time again and our family even got to witness that very day.
This behavior is called Mobbing, from Why Don’t Hawks Fight Back? by Whit Gibbons
“When a large hawk is simply in between meals, either sitting or flying, and has no special stake in a particular location, mobbing behavior by crows could be very effective. The hawk would presumably not find the annoyance worth the effort of staying around and would move on to another area to hunt.”
Perhaps this hawk should have fought back a bit, assuming this mobbing escalated into a murder – by a murder. Bird humor!
I hope you’re looking all around you today, seeing what there is to see. Here are a few (living) classics to wrap things up. Happy Monday!