Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Duckies on Ice

Springbrook Nature Center March 14, 2010:

I left my apartment today with the intention of having breakfast at Keys Café (my absolute, favorite place to eat) and then take a walk at the Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley. I was hoping to see some birds today and maybe a few ducks. I was in luck, but the first water fowl spotted was not at the nature center. There were two mallards right by my front door walking around on the lawn. Definitely a good sign! Would have gotten a picture, but I was unprepared and they flew off before I could get my camera out.

Breakfast at Key's was delicious as always. Key’s is like “Cheers” to me. I had stopped going for a couple of years when I moved from Fridley. After my accident last Fall I had physical therapy at a clinic nearby. There were times I didn’t feel I was up to the drive home immediately afterwards. Since it was so close, I began stopping by Key’s. It was like I had never left. Now I am coming on the Sundays again for breakfast. The food is so homemade good and plentiful, that it is almost necessary to walk it off afterwards. And that is what brought me back the Springbrook Nature Center.

It was still a little overcast at Springbrook when I got there, but the fog had mostly burned off. There was an earthy, damp, organic smell. It was a beautiful fragrance, fresh and clean. A lot of the snow was gone from last week, except on the trails. I have no clue as to why that would seem to melt last. It was icy in spots and muddy in others. It was very necessary to watch where I was walking. I didn’t mind too much though, as occasionally I would find evidence that I shared the trails with the inhabitants of the Center. It didn’t take me long to spot my first birds. They were hopping about on part of the trail that was melted ahead of me. But, they were much too fast for me to get a picture and flew up into the trees. However, I was able to get a shot of one of them there. I used my zoom to get a closer shot through the branches. And not much farther up the trail I found a lone mallard swimming in part of the marsh that had melted. But, I could hear what I thought were geese farther up the trail.

I was taking the long trail around the center this week. I had avoided it last week because I was concerned about the conditions and took interior trails. Parts of it were still slippery this week, but manageable. The trail becomes a bridge and winds directly through the northern section of the marsh. It is my favorite part of the nature center as it is so beautiful. During the summer months you can peer down and see fish, turles and occasionally a beaver. There is generally all types of water fowl present as well.

But it is too early yet, just some noisy geese today. I could hear them, but hadn’t seen them yet. The marsh in this area still appears to be frozen solid. But then I looked up ahead and there they were. Two geese walking right next to the bridge. They looked very out of place standing on the ice. But, as I got closer I could see small patches of open water next to the vegetation with more geese swimming. If the weather stays this warm it won’t be long before all of the ice is off and the dozen or so geese will become entire flocks with other species of water fowl as well. Soon!

I didn’t make it around the entire trail as had been the plan. My body started to protest and I decided I should take interior trails back to my vehicle. A long winter has made me a little soft. I will need to work to get myself back in shape to do the entire trail again.

Hope you all enjoy the pictures. Maybe by next week the snow will be gone completely and I can find a little green other than the moss on the trees.


Blogger azsky13 said...

Planned to publish this on Sunday but I had too many pictures to go through.

March 17, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Kristin Callender said...

Great pictures. Hope you feel strong enough to make the whole walk soon :)

March 17, 2010 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Hey thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I think I will be able to walk it all in the next couple of weeks. It is still hard with the snow and ice in spots. Should be all gone soon. Unless of course we get more... it is Minnesota!

March 17, 2010 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Rottlady of the Ozarks said...

What a lovely place to walk. Your pictures tell a story about how nice and peaceful it is there.

It does seem strange that most of the snow is on the trails, but how neat that you got to see the tracks you might have missed otherwise.

That water looks pretty cold to me, I be the geese are hoping for warmer weather...

I can't wait to see pictures of this place when it starts greening up!

March 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Was going to put this on Newsvine for GNW, but I didn't have time to do both.

I am really looking forward to seeing some green. But I will really know it is spring when the Herons come back. I love taking pictures of them.

Hey, I am thinking of creating a new blog for this and other articles about Minnesota. What do you think?


March 17, 2010 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

these are great! I can almost feel myself "thawing" from winter while watching your pictures move by on the screen. So weird that the trail was the only frozen part, glad you were careful, looks like a fall waiting to happen. Pictures were wonderful, can't wait to see the next installment. Thanks for sharing! :o)

March 18, 2010 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Hey thanks Caroline,

I don't know, They are talking cooler temps with the possibility of snow... I did slip once and caught myself, but twisted my knee. It is stil a little sore. I glad you enjoyed the pictures.


March 18, 2010 at 8:47 AM  
OpenID terrepruitt said...

Oh, I did enjoy the pictures. Those were wonderful. So clear.

April 16, 2010 at 2:05 AM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Thank you, I consider it a little bit of heaven. I haven't been able to get back there for several weeks now. I am hoping I can walk there again this Sunday. With the rain and warmer weather, it should be very green.
Thanks for your comment!

April 16, 2010 at 3:57 AM  

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