Monthly Archives: September 2017

Beauty or Beast?

Snapping Turtle at the Horicon Marsh

Snapping Turtle

“If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is:  who cares?”

–Tina Fey

Snapping Turtles are known for their strong jaws, not their beauty.  It may be tempting to pick one up, but it is not a good idea.  If you grab its tail, you can injure its spine.  If you grab it anywhere else, it may surprise you with the reach of its very long neck.  Snapping Turtles are known to be more friendly when they are in the water than when they are on land.  This one was enjoying watching cars go by on the auto tour off of Highway 49.

Sway for Prey

Great Egret at the Horicon Marsh

Great Egret

The Great Egret slowly swayed his neck back and forth as if remembering a song and having to move to the rhythm.  He was surveying the wildflower area for prey.  He needs to work on his moves since he was unsuccessful in retrieving  a tasty morsel for dinner.

Great Egret at the Horicon Marsh

He soon moved on.  He had plenty of room to roam since it was a quiet evening for birds at the Horicon Marsh.

Morning at the Horicon Marsh

Female Belted Kingfisher at the Horicon Marsh

Female Belted Kingfisher

This female Belted Kingfisher was loudly and incessantly chattering behind the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitors Center.  She has an extra chestnut band that the male Belted Kingfisher does not have.  It is one of the few bird species in North America in which the female is more colorful than the male.  She is a beautiful blend of slate gray, copper, and chestnut brown.  Belted Kingfishers nest by burrowing three to six feet into a bank and making a dome shaped chamber at the end.

Dickcissel at the Horicon Marsh


This colorful Dickcissel was flitting among the shrubs by the Education and Visitors Center.  This grassland finch will likely soon migrate to Venezuela, the most common spot you might find them in the winter.

Spider Webs at the Horicon Marsh

Cooler nights and morning dew showcase the intricate work of spiders.  It is amazing to see hundreds of webs glistening across a meadow.

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

A Ring-billed Gull enjoys the calm, sunny morning near the auto tour off of Highway 49.

Ring-billed Gull at the Horicon Marsh

Gulls need to stretch in the morning, just like humans.

Cedar Waxwing at the Horicon Marsh

Cedar Waxwing

The exquisite coloring on the Cedar Waxwing is striking with red tipped wings and yellow tipped tail feathers.  Waxy red secretions highlight the wing tips.

Frog at the Horicon Marsh

This little frog was content to sit under the boardwalk at the Education and Visitors Center.  The boardwalk provides easy hiking into the marsh with several benches to sit and enjoy the wildlife.