On Sunday, we took a "nature hike" in the afternoon. I made the decision to NOT take the camera for a change. Just to be unburdened. Just to be forced into direct observation for a change. I joked to my husband that we were sure to see something good if I didn't bring the camera.
Well sure enough, I was right. On the way we saw three sand hill cranes in a field. What the heck are those? Of course, we DID bring along the bird book and the wild flower book, so I quickly looked up this bird that was new to my husband. I've seen them twice in Wisconsin, albeit from a car window.
The walk proved sensational for seeing wild flowers. We saw the moccasin flower, pitcher plant, the twin flower, and the jack in the pulpit, among many others.
There were lots of birds singing, but with the thick cover of mostly maple trees, it was impossible to see much more than an occasional flit of a bird. There were bird songs we didn't recognize.
Then I heard a bird making a sort of squawk. I left the path to try to find the source of the sound. The sound moved, but I never saw the bird. But there, sitting high up, with its head turned completely to its back, was a barred owl. That was not the source of the sound. Apparently another bird was warning his kind about the owl. The owl just sat and watched us the whole time we watched him, which was at least 10 minutes.