Exploring Riveredge Nature Center

I started working at Riveredge Nature Center in early October and I’m enjoying getting to know the landscape. Riveredge is comprised of 379 acres along the Milwaukee River, and is located in Newburg, Wisconsin. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Milwaukee.

I’m primarily a writer, but I use photographs as a companion to words. Sometimes pictures can more quickly communicate an experience than words are able to translate. Taking pictures has given me an excuse to go exploring the 10 miles of trails and find things to write about.

I’ve been trying to look at the place with new eyes, try to see things from perspectives other people may not, or from places I haven’t thought to look from.

I liked that this view was initially a little confounding to look at. The angles of the tree shadows, the grass through the water, the water now becoming solid instead of aqueous and taking on a different sheen.

I’ve been trying to capture the sense of topographical dynamism that I observe between the hills, ponds, immediate trees, skyline, and forest in the distance.

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Gnarly

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One thing I’ve realized – it’s pretty challenging to get pictures of birds. They just don’t stay still! I saw these hawks tussling above the prairie, and unfortunately I had the wrong lens to capture any of them individually. Ah well, we all learn (hopefully) new things, and I’m glad this is giving me an opportunity to practice new skills.

Here is a shot of the Milwaukee River in late October.

Tamarack Colors Are In-Season

Tamaracks offer a fantastic luminescence when struck by the afternoon sun. The nature of lovely fall trees in Wisconsin.

Prairie Crayfish at Schlitz Audubon

Recent storms have allowed Schlitz Audubon staff to see a species not often observed on our land, the Prairie Crayfish (Procambarus gracilus). Read here about this interesting native wildlife species at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, often hiding in burrows just below our feet in the prairie.

Mystery Rodent Scurrying Near the Milwaukee River

Near the Milwaukee River, we saw what I first thought was a Muskrat, my son thought was a baby Beaver.

It turned out to be a Groundhog, also called a Woodchuck. Woodchuck babes are called “chucklings.” These large rodents are native to the area, and if you’re not worried about holes in your lawn, they’re quite fun to watch.

Canoeing Along the Wisconsin River

Stumbled on a Muskrat Under Ice

I happened upon this muskrat, which promptly dove under a thin layer of ice covering the pond. These are native to Milwaukee, and even though I’ve worked at a nature center for three years, I’d never seen one. But I saw four of them today! I suppose they’re especially active, preparing for winter.