Late April Moraine State Park Trip

A group of us rented a couple of cabins up at Moraine State Park at the end of April to spend a few days paddling and fishing on the lake.  I took my canoe and was able to get a lot of good pictures while paddling and of the local wildlife. 

Beaver Dam - 
My sister and I paddled up the "hidden river" in the northwest corner of Lake Arthur until we were stopped by a relatively new beaver dam.  I say "relatively new" because the dam wasn't here last spring when we came up but this is the spot where we normally turn around anyway because the creek typically gets too shallow. 

Canada goose (Branta canadensis) - 
On a small island in the beaver pond, this Canada Goose was sitting on its nest while keeping a close eye on us.  Since we didn't want to disturb it, I took a few pictures and then we moved on. 

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) - 
The woods along the "hidden river" were full of wildflowers, including this Bloodroot. Bloodroot derives its name from Native Americans' use of its roots to make red dyes.  The light purple flowers in the photo are Round-Lobed Hepatica (Anemone americana) the Lavender variety.

Lake Arthur - 
We had rain and winds part of the weekend, but then on Saturday the lake got really calm and the rain clouds gave way to blue sky.  While difficult to see, the entrance to the "hidden river" in near the center of the photograph on the distant shore.

Round-Lobed Hepatica (Anemone americana) - Lavender Variety - 
This is the first time I photographed Round-Lobed Hepatica and I was interested to discover that the species includes both lavender and whitish pink varieties.  I found these along the shore along with other whitish pink Round Lobed Hepatica.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) - 
The northwest corner of the park is home to an active Osprey nest.  Since it's right across the water from a popular boat launch, the Osprey must be accustomed to people and it let me get pretty close.

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) - 
The Painted Turtles that sun themselves on the logs and rocks along the shore are some of my favorite subjects to photograph at Moraine.  The swampy bays at the mouths of the lake's tributaries must be their preferred habitat since we find so many of these turtles clustered together.

Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) - 
I'm not certain that this is in fact a Pectoral Sandpiper, but it seems like the right identification based on its greenish-yellow legs and its slightly drooping bill.  Either way, I got a decent picture of it trolling the swampy shallows in search of its next meal.

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) - 
This Tree Swallow perched on top of a large, long dead tree along the lake shore while my sister and I paddled by.  I really like the blue and black of the bird perched on the white-washed grey log with the brilliant blue sky in the background. 

More Pictures:

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)

Canada goose (Branta canadensis)

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)

Round-Lobed Hepatica (Anemone americana) - White Variety