Vacation time! Dan and I decided to explore the area around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for the first time. Thursday we explored the lake and the town of Lake Geneva. Friday, after looking at the parks in the area on a map and guide book, we chose to visit Price Park, northeast of Elkhorn. We had a fantastic time. Maybe it was the fact that the weather was a beautiful 75 degrees F, it was a work day and the park was almost empty, the prairie flowers were in full bloom, and it was all-around a perfect summer day. After going on the usual woodsy path we came out to a meadow with picnic tables and benches, a mowed lawn, and a little lake surrounded by cattails and frog sounds. We met a lady as we left the park who said they fished in the little lake.
Small lake at Price Park, near Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
Leaving the meadow and walking through another woods, we came out in another mowed area.
This eastern comma butterfly was at the edge of the mowed area.
There were dragonflies everywhere. Here they have found a nice stick on which to enjoy the sunny day. It is not a great picture, but you get the idea.
In another field prairie plants were blooming. This picture does not show it well, but the blue/purple spiderwort plants were gorgeous and abundant. There was also orange butterfly weed and white indigo. My handsome husband posed for me.
Saturday morning was foggy and cool at the grain field next to our hotel. We saw these pink thistles here and there in the area.
Even though it was cool and wet we put on our jackets and headed out to Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy on the summer solstice. The nature area boardwalk starts near the Lake Geneva beach at Williams Bay, WI. After we had been on the boardwalk for a while it ended and we stepped off on to a grassy path and soon our shoes and socks were soaked.
We walked around a bend in the path and came upon a wild turkey and four or five baby turkeys (poults.)
The turkeys stood perfectly still and we also stood still, while Dan took a few pictures.
Close up of baby turkey trying to hide in the grass. After a bit they got up and blended into the tall grass.
The prairie plants of every kind were blooming beautifully. This yellow plant looked like the fennel in my garden. There were also taller plants with umbels that might have been prairie parsley. There were fields of penstemon digitalis blooming white, and a number of other blooming plants I could not identify.
We walked along grassy paths and the squirrel noticed us and was trying to decide what to do.
Male goldfinch in grassy meadow.
When we stood still along the path we could sense wildlife everywhere and a lot of bird noises.
Common yellowthroat making clicking noise in the treetops. We took quite a few pictures of this warbler and finally realized that it may have been trying to distract us to keep from disclosing the nest site. This area was across the path from the prairie.
There were red-winged blackbirds everywhere. We also flushed out a bright blue bird which we guessed was a male indigo bunting. He was gone before we were able to take a picture.
Pearl crescent butterfly. As we left the sun was coming out and the butterflies were sunning themselves.
A large mourning cloak butterfly suns itself on the boardwalk.
I had to put in a picture of a large group of turkey vultures that we saw near Twin Lakes, WI, where we stopped to eat a sandwich near the lake.
Back in Chicago we felt refreshed from our time in these beautiful nature preserves.