Click, click … click, click, click … I recognize the sound and continue to hear it numerous times, so I look from my tent site to my neighbor’s site. He is priming a Coleman stove and unfortunately cannot get the burner lit. That can be the start to a bad day … one needs to have at least one hot cup of coffee! I yell over, “Need a match?” His head nods affirmatively and I walk over with matches and lighter.
My neighbor is here with family and friends, scattered at various sites at this campground, for a memorial service. He told me this yesterday. The person died a year ago from Covid-19 and they are all here to have that memorial service.
While helping to get his stove working his little boy shyly waves to me and talks about water balloons. Thankfully his father translates his words for me to understand he is talking about water balloons. His daughter was still in the tent. Only then did it dawn on me there was no other adult in the group. I never asked who died and now wondered if the memorial service is for his partner. I will never know. The pot with water has a hot blue flame under it soon to be ready for coffee! I wished them a good day!
I left the campground to hike and bird watch at Lake Kegonsa State Park about a half hour drive away. The entrance fee at Wisconsin state parks is based on your license plate. Driver of a Wisconsin plate pays a $9 daily fee, non-resident pays $11. I walked almost all their trails with various cameras depending on what I thought I might see and photograph. I saw numerous birds, butterflies, wildflowers, squirrels, frogs and other people camping, jogging and walking the trails too. No swimming in the lake due to a blue – algae bloom … actually people could not even wade or touch the lake water! Park signs warn of toxins causing harm to humans and pets entering the lake water, such as skin irritations and other effects.
While I walked one trail I saw a woman arrive to the lake’s shoreline by kayak. She hopped out of her kayak into the water to do something and then hopped back in. I wondered if there are other areas of the lake with the same algal bloom concern or if it just is in the park’s swimming area. I don’t know enough about blooms.
On the White Oak Nature Trail there were 2 locations with signs noting “Indian Mounds”. Wisconsin, once the center of a prehistoric culture called “Woodland”, has the largest number of mounds built of any state in the nation and preserved on public and private lands. Much study can go into the how and why of Indian Mounds, especially since some have been here since 5,000 years ago!
Of the many birds I saw there were only 2 new birds for my life list: Eastern wood-pewee and ruby-throated hummingbird. Here are some photos from today: