Nature Festival – Caroline Lake Preserve

Caroline Lake

We explored Caroline Lake Preserve and State Natural Area near Mellen on May 20, the second day of the 10th annual Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival. It was fitting considering the lake forms the headwaters of the Bad River, which flows to the Kakagon-Bad River Sloughs that we toured by boat the previous day.

Ensuring the water stays clean and clear is one of the main reasons why The Nature Conservancy purchased over 1,000 acres as a preserve. Matt Dallman, TNC director of conservation, took our group on a hike to West Twin Lake to explain these efforts, including climate change forestry work.

2016-05-20_naturefest-mattdallmanThe hike was a little buggy, but we kept moving and watched for birds along the way, like this magnolia warbler and blue jay.

2016-05-20_naturefest-magnoliawarbler 2016-05-20_naturefest-bluejay

Matt didn’t miss a beat when it came to identifying the various bird calls and songs. He’d be telling us about the hardwoods and nonchalantly slip in the name of a bird (or several heard in a row) mid-sentence. Since most of us couldn’t actually see them, he showed us pictures in a field guide.2016-05-20_naturefest-fieldguide


And your eyes aren’t fooling you. That’s an adorable older couple holding hands in the middle of the walking path. They have been to every one of the nature and bird festivals together.

2016-05-20_naturefest-hikeIt was peaceful when we arrived to West Twin Lake, but that marked our halfway point and we had to turn back.2016-05-20_naturefest-westtwinlake

When we returned to Caroline Lake, I spotted a small butterfly.


Click here for a map of the area. 2016-05-20_naturefest-carolinelake2

To see more photos, check out my Flickr page.

Upson Falls

While we were in the area, we decided to stop at Upson Falls.


That proved to be buggier than Caroline Lake, so we didn’t stay too long. But we did see some yellow trout lilies and forget-me-nots on our hike to the beautiful view.2016-05-20-naturefest-troutlily 2016-05-20-naturefest-forgetmenot

To see more photos, check out my Flickr page.

2016 Birding and Nature Festival

Day 1: Kakagon Sloughs, Frog Bay, Nature Center

Day 2: Caroline Lake and Upson Falls

Day 3: North Country Trail and Pikes Creek


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