8/15/2014 7:30:00 AM Ced Vig's Wisconsin Woodsmoke
By Ced Vig
Naturalist Ced Vig wrote a weekly outdoors column for this newspaper for many years before he passed away in the fall of 2010. With the blessing of his family, we are republishing excerpts from some of his much-loved columns. We hope our readers enjoy a taste of Ced's wit and wisdom.
We're moving into late August. By the end of the month the fox snake and turtle eggs have hatched. Goldfinches have completed their nesting activities and fawns have lost many of their 200 white spots.
By the end of the month wild rice will be harvested in shallow waters of many lakes and rivers in the Northwoods. Wild cranberries will be ripening in the spruce bogs. Blackberry bushes will be loaded with black, juicy berries.
Goldenrods, purple asters and black-eyed Susans carpet the roadsides and abandoned fields. And in the woodlands the first brilliant red colors of the sumac and red maple trees welcome the approaching autumnal season.
Wildlife on the Move
Most birds depart on their migratory flight shortly after sunset, climb quickly to altitude, fly for several hours, and begin a gradual descent after midnight, with a final descent from low heights at the approach of dawn. Most song birds are out of the air by daylight, but ducks and geese may continue on to resting areas. The geese generally continue to fly long distances by day. The geese that pass over the Northwoods make the flight from Horicon, 750 miles to the Hudson Bay area non-stop and in one day.
Cranes, geese and some ducks have a tendency to make the same rest stops, year after year, generation after generation.
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