Wood Lake Nature Center: A Song of Slush and Mud

Today the Hubby and I ventured out to enjoy the springish weather at Wood Lake Nature Center. The temperature was in the mid-40s and we were able to get away with light jackets. In the past Wood Lake has been amazing for wildlife. They get an amazing variety of migratory birds in the spring and fall, and they have a “no dogs” policy so the wildlife doesn’t get spooked. The very first thing we saw when we started down the trail was a coyote crossing the iced-over marsh. It was quite a ways away, but I managed to snag a bigfoot-style shot:

A coyote is seen in the center of the picture walking across an icy marsh.
The walk was a bit treacherous. In areas that hadn’t been getting direct sunlight, the ground was covered in melty, slushy ice. I ended up using all sorts of interesting muscles in our attempts to stay upright.

Icy trail in the woods
We saw so many signs of wildlife. Aside from the copious amounts of coyote and deer droppings, there were several types of tracks weaving in and out of the wooded areas, squirrel and bird nests, and younger trees stripped bare of bark.
Deer print in the snow

A deer print in the snow.

A small bird nest tucked inbetween some branches.
A small bird nest.

Aside from the coyote we saw several types of birds, including chickadees, robins, grackles, and two mallards who seemed a little perturbed that so much of the marsh was still iced over, and a couple of muskrats.

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A robin warily watches us approach.

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The tail-end (literally) of a muskrat who we startled away from the shore.
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The grackles chattered noisily with each other over the chittering of the red-winged blackbirds.

Now spring just needs to stop being so Minnesota-ish. I can’t wait for the ice to melt and the mud to recede. The boots that I wore today performed really well considering how much water we tromped through, but I want to get my running shoes out on the trails one of these days!

Wood Lake Nature Center: A Song of Slush and Mud
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