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Cover of Spring 2019 issue

Spring 2019
Volume 43, Number 1

Contact information
For information on the magazine's webpage, contact:
Kathryn Kahler
Associate editor
608-266-2625

Readers Write

PHOTOS AND FEEDBACK FROM OUR READERS
Want to comment on a story? Send letters to: Readers Write, WNR magazine, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707, or email to DNR Magazine. Limit letters to 250 words and include your name and the community from which you are writing.

SIGNS OF SPRING

Photo of two red and yellow tulips

This photo was taken last year in South Milwaukee and the tulips were some of the first full blossoms of the year! They caught my eye because of their beautiful and distinct colors. I believe the featured tulips are a type of "burning heart" tulips and are a mid-spring blossom.

Amber Wilbur
Cudahy

MOURNING MEETING

Photo of 16 gray mourning doves sitting in mulch under a tree

We've always had mourning doves around here but I never saw them grouped like this before – 16 in all I counted circled on the mulch under a maple tree in our backyard. They all appear to be facing out from the circle (on guard?).

The mulch under the maple is raw wood chips so I suppose it's composting a bit and giving off a little heat. Cool and rainy this a.m. I figure maybe they are starting to flock together for migration time, maybe a layover through the night. They all flew away together after about 15 minutes.

The ducks and geese have been running premigration flights over the house for the last week or so. Winter is coming too fast for me. Give me about three months of fall first at least.

Mark Lang
Menomonee Falls

DNR wildlife biologist Ryan Brady provided this explanation: Although difficult to say with certainty, the image appears to show a number of juvenile doves. This suggests the flock represents several family groups associating with each other, which is not uncommon, especially as fall approaches. The birds were likely able to stay drier, and perhaps warmer, on the mulch vs. the longer wet grass. Flocking up indeed provides many eyes for spotting Cooper's hawks, foxes and other predators, although not to the extreme that bobwhite quail coveys do!

COMPLIMENTS FROM THE CLASSROOM

I am emailing you as a part of a class I am enrolled in for school, where I had to compare two different magazines of my choice. While comparing this magazine with one completely opposite, it made me appreciate the amount of information and detail you include in the magazine.

I am a person that usually doesn't take the time to read a magazine but learned that most magazines are filled with ads and unimportant information, unlike Wisconsin Natural Resources. I just wanted to take the time to note that you guys do a great job with your magazine, which highlights a lot of beautiful areas throughout Wisconsin while also demonstrating all the opportunities to take part in within the outdoor landscape of our state. Thank you!

Mikayla Endres
Lone Rock

OVERNIGHT BUTTERFLY BOARDING

Nighttime photo of many monarch butterflies hanging in tree

One evening in September last year, at the peak of the bloom of the goldenrod, monarch butterflies kept fluttering around and gathering on part of a tree in my backyard. That night, there were a couple hundred gathered on a few branches. In the morning, the first to be in the sun were the first to fly away.

I have 3 acres, of which 2 acres are native prairie plants, mostly goldenrod, with scattered milkweed, thistle and other wildflowers and shrubs. I have fond memories of monarch butterflies and caterpillars from childhood – have noticed the decline in their numbers. Hoping they survive!

Mark Howe
Hobart

NAME THAT FROG

Photo of small frog sitting on concrete floor with ladybug next to it

Today is Dec. 19 and above-average temperatures over the past month or so. I have seen this little guy in my unheated out-building whenever we have nice weather. Not sure where he lives within the building. Today I counted four of these frogs within my building. Can you help me identify what they are and how unusual it is to see them in December? You may notice by the ladybug in the picture how small these frogs are. The bug in the pic was not intentional, just an odd year to still be seeing bugs so late. Thank you.

Mark Zuberbuehler
Kenosha County

Richard Staffen, a conservation biologist with DNR's Natural Heritage Conservation Program responds: Dear Mark, verified with a few other herpetologists and we agree this is a chorus frog. It is not uncommon to see them active during winter months during these warm spells. The chorus frog overwinters under debris (rocks, logs, duff) or in cracks/crevices where they try to get below the frost line, but can easily emerge or stay active as long as the weather permits.

Photo of two albino deer in woods

CREATURES OF RARE BEAUTY

When you walk through the woods of northern Wisconsin and spot one of these white deer, it is a haunting experience. To see two together is a real treat. This photograph was taken near Boulder Junction.

Mark Boettcher
Brookfield

PRETTY, WITH A PURPOSE

Photo of field of yellow flowers with red barns in background

I enjoy driving the Wisconsin back roads year round. Last summer, I was driving along Highway F out of Ixonia going south. Just before West River Road, there is a farm on your left. I was surprised by the beautiful, brilliant yellow field of black-eyed susans and other wildflowers. I challenged myself to find the owner of these fields so I could share some of the photos.

The farmer was thrilled to get the photos and tell me of the project he started with the Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program. Unfortunately, I didn't get this nice farmer's name. I did learn about the watershed program. A few other area farmers are also participating. The farmers are filling their fields with wildflowers that have deep roots. The roots will help hold back all types of water runoff. I was very pleased to learn that farmers are actively working with their area watershed groups to clean their local water runoff from area creeks and such.

Wendy Kubokawa-Wells
Watertown

PASS THE BUCK

What a great article Ron Weber wrote in your 2018 Winter edition ("Buck of a lifetime"). I, too, have dreamed of a buck of a lifetime and although one has not appeared in front of me, I, like him, have aimed and passed on a few bucks that have come before me. It's a special feeling to let them walk and live another day and gives true meaning to hunter ethics. By his action, he has now joined a special group of hunters that end the hunt not with a shot but with a memory of a lifetime!

Roy Lindeman
Green Bay

COUPLE OF COUNTRY BIRDS

Photo of wild turkey at window

Photo of hawk sitting on edge of roof

Here is a picture of a Cooper's hawk that landed on top of the outhouse I built for storing gardening tools. I also found another picture that I thought you would appreciate seeing. We live out in a country subdivision between Milton and Janesville, and we have frequent turkey visitors. This one would stop by and peck on our patio window.

Elton Duffy
Milton

Photo of adult sandhill crane with colt behind it in green grass

WHOOPING CRANE FAMILY LIFE

Hi, I am a nature photographer in Rome, Wisconsin. This past year, I have been making a photo history of the local whooping crane family, a slide show that shows the progression of the chick from a little fuzz ball to a bird that is capable of controlled flight. It shows the different terrain that the cranes use, some of the foods that are consumed and the daily life of the family unit.

Bob Stoil
Rome

THANKS FOR THE GIFT

Photo of sign for Ojibwa Park

I enjoyed reading about the three generations of the Ruegger family ("DNR memoirs," Fall 2018). However, it seems you left out some information about the benefactors of the Ojibwa Park – see my picture. I don't know the details of the funding of the Sawyer County wayside park, but you should have mentioned the three parties listed on the marker (Robert W. Baird and his wife, the Ojibwa Sales Co., and Northern States Power). It is a lovely sight and the township campground on the south side of the highway is superior to the DNR campgrounds in many respects. P.S., enjoy the magazine very much!

John G. Powles
Middleton

HOOKED ON THE HUNT

Photo of young boy in camouflage sitting in duck blind

We wanted to share a picture of our son Matthew, 14, enjoying a morning waterfowl hunt. This picture was taken during the two-day youth hunt. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a fantastic program to introduce our youth to Wisconsin's great hunting tradition. He's hooked!

William and Andrea Muench
Turtle Lake

Last revised: Thursday February 28 2019