Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Turkeys and Spring Flowers at Shorewood Nature Preserve

Spring flowers turn the woods blue

 Shorewood Nature Preserve, at 3600 N. Lake Drive, is a small trail that leads to Lake Michigan.  It can be a bit tricky to find, as it is just marked with a wooden sign and is tucked between homes on Lake Drive, between Lake Park and Atwater Beach Park.  Parking is only on the street, and you do need to pay attention to the hours posted as they vary by hour of day and day of week.  When you are short on time and want to get out and see something, this is a great location.

It's a steep trail that is wooded.  It ends abruptly just before the beach.  It's a big jump down because erosion has washed away the bottom of the trail.  If you look to the right before the end, you'll see a short trail with thousands of blue flowers right now.  Please observe the posted signs and don't enter the private land, but do take a look.  It's so beautiful!  To the left, someone recently assembled sticks into a kind of interesting 'bird nest'.  Walk down to the beach and bring binoculars if you enjoy identifying shore birds.  You may be surprised by seeing migratory birds traveling much further north.  Last fall, the water level was way down and there were many more rocks exposed, so it's good to see the lake water level is beginning to rise.  We were surprised to see a pair of turkeys on the way down the path.  I've heard from residents who use the trail that there are many in the area between here and Lake Park.  We met a group of volunteers who were picking garlic mustard when we were here on Saturday.  It's been great to see so much activity from volunteers already this spring.
Turkeys roam the woods

Someone...or something?...assembled a large nest of sticks.  Could it be Big Bird?

We saw many finches and warblers in the trees

Plenty of shorebirds

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