Tundra Swans are beginning to appear in larger numbers on Pool 8. Check at the waysides south of Goose Island on Hwy 35, and south of Brownsville, MN, on Hwy 61 S. To see historical data on our fabulous Tundra Swans, use the SEARCH Button at the top of the page!! Look for a sunny day and take a drive along the Upper Mississippi River. Numbers should increase throughout the rest of November as the Swans move south and then make a Eastern turn toward the East Coast.
4th Graders at Southern Bluffs had a unique opportunity to work with educators, parents, and archaeologists during a recent archaeological survey at Goose Island.
The survey was required because of planned recreational development of the site. The processed involved digging several test holes to a depth of 45 inches. The dirt from the test holes was sifted and any artifacts were identified and labeled. Interestingly enough, one test hole showed a few chert shards, charcoal, and a bit of pottery. Nice!! Another yielded mostly brown/green glass and rusted bottle caps, while another did not yield anything.
Students then began skimming dirt from an approximately 4×4 square, and recording anything found in layers of approximately 4 inches (10 centimeters). Both sifting and skimming were pretty hard work!
Artifacts shown here include Chert shards, a bit of shattered rock, charcoal and a reddish bit of clay pottery. What a great opportunity for the kids to do a supervised treasure
FERRYVILLE — The Ferryville Tourism Council will host its annual Fall Migration Day from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, in River View Park on Highway 35.
Additional birding events will be held beginning at 8 a.m. at the Driftless Center in Lansing, Iowa, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the birding observation area at Brownsville, Minn., Hwy. 26, all on Nov. 10.
Brief Report: Pelicans are still in Pool 8 on the Upper River. Suspect a few Tundra Swans have been filtering in, but temps are still warm enough to keep them up north. I look for the first sheets of ice as the harbinger of the main Tundra Swan migration!
Fall Foliage Hot Lines from greatriver.com
Mid-October seems to be the month when Fall Foliage really POPS along the Upper Mississippi River. You can follow its southward march with the contacts below. Weather is perfect, enjoy the drive!
Arkansas. 800-628-8725; www.1800natural.com (late October to early November)
Illinois. 800-226-6632; www.enjoyillinois.com (early October)
Kentucky. 800-225-8747; (late October)
Minnesota. 800-657-3700; www.exploreminnesota.com (late September to mid-October)
Missouri. 800-778-1234; www.missouritourism.org (mid-to-late October)
Tennessee. 800-697-4200; www.state.tn.us/tourdev/ (early November)
Wisconsin. 800-432-8747; www.travelwisconsin.com (early through mid-October)
And don’t leave home without the indispensable guides to Mississippi River and Great River Road travel! Every volume of DISCOVER! America’s Great River Road is filled with a variety of fascinating Mississippi River fact and lore. Photos, maps, charts! All Volumes contain info on birding, wildlife viewing hotspots. Each highlights Geography, interpretive history and natural history attractions along the Great River Road. SAVE $10!!! Purchase ALL FOUR VOLUMES of Discover! America’s Great River Road… St. Paul, Minnesota, to Venice, Louisiana, individually signed by the author. Four guides for $62.
How cool is this? We just discovered that Our favorite hand painted Mississippi River maps can now be purchased online as tote bags, wood signs, T-shirts, coffee mugs, yoga mats and more! Click image below to purchase our coffee mug for yourself or as a gift!
Click this link to search ALL LIFESTYLE PRODUCTS, each with your favorite hand painted Mississippi River map! Choose your map, your product or gift options, sizes, colors, orientation and more. Choose from stretched canvas to throw pillows to T-shirts
Don’t see your favorite map in our product catalog?? Call 888.255.7726 and we will help you find it, or get it posted for you! Looking to license an image for your commercial product? YES, we do that!
Kari Anderson (karipearls.com) recently shared this story of her visit to a fascinating Pearl Button factory which once operated in Muscatine, Iowa! Thank you, Kari!!
Muscatine once had the title of “Pearl Button Capital of the World!” and this pearl button factory is actually a time capsule of that long-past era. In 1956 the owners said the last good byes to their employees and locked the door!
With flashlights in hand, Kari climbed the dark stairways. At least 2 floors of the Schmarje building were dedicated to the Ronda Button Company and the Schmarje family had the foresight to leave this factory basically untouched for over 60 years – what a blessing! for those of us interested in this local history.
At least 2 floors of the Schmarje building were dedicated to the Ronda Button Company. The Schmarje family had the foresight to leave this factory basically untouched for over 60 years – what a blessing! for those of us interested in this local history.
These machines zipped through tons of shells, cutting blanks for buttons. Muscatine also has a local pearl button museum which has a movie visitors can watch showing workers quickly slipping shells into shell cutters so blanks can be cut out from them. (It looked dangerous…)
The new type of button cutting machine, featuring a carbide-toothed saw operating on a vertical shaft enabled workers at the Ronda Button plant to produce top grade blanks at a faster rate than was possible by older methods.
The local pearl button museum has a movie visitors can watch showing workers quickly slipping shells into these cutters so blanks can be cut out from them. (It looked dangerous…)
I saw how shells would arrive at the plant by the tons in burlap sacks.
Machines Lined the Walls
Finished “Pearl” Buttons made in Muscatine
Here I am sharing for Pechkucha Night at our local museum about my pearling adventures.
Me speaking at Muscatine Button Museum “Around the World in 80 Carats!”
The current president of China, Xi Jinping! As a young man he was an exchange student here. His presence here in Muscatine, has developed a unique relationship between Iowa and China. Our former governor, Branstad, is now the ambassador to China.
Greeted Sunday by getting up early to enjoy the valley!
Watched a “V” of geese go by… learned from birders yesterday that about this time Canada geese begin to flock up and continue to migrate northward. These are the geese that have not fledged any young this spring. Birders call it the “molt migration” as the geese will now begin to molt their breeding feathers. Preceded by weeks of loud honking as they begin to gather up. Usually occurs about June 1. The geese with hatchlings are now quite silent in order to protect the young.
Dan Jackson, who probably hears and sees every bird to pass through the Coulee Region has a reported several oddities of interest. Most recently (about May 16) he reported seeing this “white-faced ibis!!” His comments follow:
“The White-faced Ibis that was first seen about a week ago is still hanging out in the Halfway Creek Marsh. This marsh is on the north side of county ZN about ½ mile west of Midway and between Midway and the Visitor’s Center of the La Crosse District of the Upper Mississippi River NWR. This is west of Hwy 35 and County ZN can be reached by exiting on OT from that road. In Midway, take ZN to the west and watch for the small parking area on the right (north) side of the road after you go around a major corner. This is east of the RR tracks.”
Another interesting report was of the WHITE ROBIN Dan photographed this spring, which I cropped to show here! Dan has been posting his sightings at https://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn