Adventures/Challenges at Crex Meadows

Our last trip to the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area ( CMWA ) a week ago proved to be a little more exciting than we had planned. Mother nature always makes sure we do not have a boring experience.

After leaving home early on Sunday morning June 11, 2017, we stopped in Menomonie to stretch our legs and get a cup of coffee. I had noticed that storms were headed towards the Twin Cities on my iphone weather radar that morning but figured we could get to our destination before they crossed our path. Well, that did not work.

As we headed north out of Menomonie we noticed green skies in the west mixed in with some really ugly clouds obviously headed our way. Of course my photographer instincts kicked in and I mentioned to Pam that it would be nice if we could reach some elevated spot of the highway to stop so I could photograph the passing storm with all the cool lightning. That great idea did not work out either.

By the time we found a nice spot to stop the storm was upon us in all of it's fury. Heavy winds, lightning, hail, rain and thunder. Alas my well planned photo shoot disappeared with the waning light and heavy rain. We kept heading north until the intensity of the hail, rain and wind brought the visibility down to zero. I hit the emergency flashers and eased to the right hoping to feel our way to the shoulder of the road. Now we were excited!!!! or at least a little tense not being able to see what the storm had planned for us. That was just crazy!

We started back up a short time later as the rain let up a little. Now we were driving quite slow as there was debris all over the highway and tree limbs to swerve around. We noticed later that there were trees down here and there all the way to Grantsburg and the CMWA.

After settling in to our accommodations in Siren we headed out the CMWA  with only a light rain falling. We did get a few shots of some wildlife including the group of Sandhill Cranes dancing around in the rain.

Heading back to the hotel that evening we decided to order a healthy pizza from Fat Daddy's Pizza in Siren, Wi. It was a very good pizza with a lot of melted cheese trying to keep each slice of pizza from being separated from the pie. Just like pizza ads on TV!
We got ready to head out early the next morning but soon discovered we were surrounded by a very heavy fog. Oh well, that meant  there was enough time for another cup of coffee. :)  The fog lifted and presented us with a wonderful partly cloudy day and photo opportunities.

The wonderful morning fog left beautifully
decorated spider webs throughout the area.

I used some digital art effects on this cool web.

A Common Yellowthroat.
The Visitor & Education Center is a must stop for you to get the latest
wildlife information from friendly staff members.
This Northern Mockingbird was a scarce find for the area and the
first one I had seen or photographed.
I captured this image of a wild Turkey before
 he had a chance to dry out.
Many wildflowers were in bloom including
this Honeysuckle with a captured insect in
it's clutches.
Wild Iris plants with digital art effects added.
A Blanding's Turtle paused for a photograph while crossing a road.
I love these Yellow Warbles and never tire of photographing them.
Dragonflies were prevalent in the wetlands. 
An Eastern Kingbird showed off it's catch.
A Brown Thrasher paused just long enough for me to get this shot.
They do not like to stand still.
After the fog lifted, the open water areas reflected like mirrors.
This deer watched us and appeared confident that we did not
notice him.
"Who's the man"?  We always find time to watch and listen to the very
entertaining colony of Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Pam enjoyed these hand carved Cardinal's in a colorful garden next to
the highway on the way to Grantsburg.
Our trip ended Monday with a delightful dinner at Tesora's Restaurant in Siren.
Just across the street from our hotel.
It was a leisurely dinner with great food, wonderful service and a fitting end to a fun trip. We had to try one of their deserts to properly finish the dinner.


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