The Pike River Pathway

Well, I didn’t expect to blog again so soon. I didn’t expect to blog again at all, but I figure this platform is here and waiting for me to share my adventures.

Again, if you’d like like to see my videos and photos more frequently and reliably, you can subscribe to my youtube page, my flickr page, or even follow me on twitter.

Today’s topic is about the Pike River Pathway.

The pathway project started as something much bigger than just a pathway. They needed to rework the landscape to prevent flooding. This section of the Pike River used to be no more than a drainage ditch. It was ugly and overgrown with trees and invasive plants. The town decided to use the project to also create a prairie restoration as well as adding a two mile looped pathway for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. I consider the project a great success. It’s a much needed habitat, and a great way for humans to respectfully interact with nature. Even more exciting is that they continued the project south including another 1.5 miles of pathway, and it may go even further eventually.

Here are some photos I’ve taken over the past few years along the Pike River Pathway.

Gray-Headed Coneflowers are everywhere in late summer, along with Black-Eyed Susans, Milkweed, and Wild Bergamot, which can be seen in the background.

Yellow Coneflowers

The area has a healthy population of Plains Garter Snakes. The second photo shows a Western Fox Snake, which is the first and only time I’ve seen one around here.

Plains Garter Snake

Western Fox Snake

The area has at least four species of frogs: Bull Frog, Green Frog, Northern Leopard Frog, and Western Chorus Frog. American Toads can also be found. Here’s one of the larger Bull Frogs I’ve seen there.

Bull Frog

This baby Snapping Turtle was an interesting find, which on closer inspection had some injuries which may have been a threat to its quality of life, and I wonder what became of it after I left it.

Baby Snapper

One of the most interesting finds would be this school of Bullheads, which I initially thought was a school of American Toad tadpoles.

Yet another interesting find happened just yesterday. I found a Mink running along the river. I’ve never seen a Mink before, so it was a great sight. I also saw about a dozen Muskrats and countless Mallard ducks, including two domestic Mallards. You can see them all in this video along with a slideshow at the end.

Here’s one last shot of the first river crossing.

Pike River Pathway

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog. I don’t expect much traffic here, so I don’t expect to be posting much here. You’re probably looking at the date of this post and think I don’t check up here any more, but I do, I just don’t post here. If you somehow wound up here, I’d love to visit some of the sites I often update.

You can catch me tweeting on https://twitter.com/JBtheExplorer about all kinds of things, but I often share photos of my pond or the outdoors.

Here is my Youtube page. I often share updates of my backyard goldfish pond along with camping trips and everything else outdoors. My pond attracts all kinds of interesting animals and insects including birds, frogs, and praying manti.

Here is my Flickr page. This is where I share some of my best photos, usually of the outdoors. Photography is a hobby that I picked up about 5 years ago and I feel I keep improving.

Now, I’ll tell you a little more about myself. It can’t be clear enough: I love nature. I love wildlife. If I could, I would spend every moment in the great outdoors. I care about it deeply. I don’t get to be in it nearly as much as I would like, but when I do get hiking days or camping weekends, I love to share my adventure in hopes that others will understand why these few remaining prairies, forests and other habitats are so important, and why we should work to expand them. I encourage everyone to grow as many native plants in their yards as possible. Grass is literally a wasteland. Ask yourself if your lawn really gets used all that often. For most it doesn’t. Yet for some reason we keep it rather than growing a beautiful and colorful prairie. You’d be surprised how stress relieving a prairie can be. That wildlife it attracts will entertain you for hours.

Now, I have a grass-filled yard too. I’m in the process of adding more native prairie plants. I’ve also recently added a garden pond. It draws in so many animals that I would have never imagined in my own yard. Four species of frogs, toads, insects like the Yellow Fuzzy Bee-Fly, Praying Mantis, Monarch Butterflies (which are lower and lower in numbers every year and need MILKWEED to survive. Plant a few Asclepias Tuberosa plants, you’ll like them),and a Leaf-bug. I get all sorts of birds coming to drink and bath in the water such as American Goldfinches, Northern Carinals, Northern Orioles, Wrens, oh, and I get Hummingbirds coming to my Mexican Sunflower plants too.The pond also is great as for as my photography hobby. The frogs tend to get used to my presence and I can use them as subjects to figure out how to get the best shots.

When it comes to camping, I only get out a few times each year. I’m not a deep woods hammock or tent camper. There are no deep woods in the area. I have tented, and its fine, but I currently have a small pop-up camper with only a few basic conveniences such as a gas stove and a pump sink.

I go to some pretty great State Parks in Wisconsin. They all have beautiful trails that anyone in the area needs to visit. Most campgrounds also lie on or near some body of water. In that case I make good use of my canoe. Canoeing is one of the most peaceful things to do. I would also love to expand on that one day and get a kayak.

When not doing that, I still try to get out once every week or two. Sometimes more often than that. I live next to a small wooded park with about a mile of trails and I head back there all the time. I try to get to other parks in town often. I always bring my camera, and often see some interesting things.

In closing, I hope you check out the links above, maybe subscribe on youtube or follow on Flickr. I love sharing what I see and I also love seeing others share their adventures. I ask you, every moment of every day, think about what you are doing and how it will positively or negatively affect the natural world. Now on that note, I’ll share with you just a very few photos I’ve taken over the last year.

Here’s my pond.

Water Lily in  my Pond My Pond

Here’s a handful of photos I took while on some great adventures.

Entering the hidden Cave Snapping Turtle Canoeing along the Sandstone Canoeing the Lake Wading in the Scuppernong RIver

– JBtheExplorer