If Spring Means HIKING! Here’s a Beautiful New MAP Collection just for you!

Great River Arts has just released a new collection of Hiking Map Gift Prints that range from Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail to Mt. Kilimanjaro and the San Juan Islands off Washington State!  Click QUICK VIEW to see all maps at a glance. Click on any map image on the QUICK VIEW page to see specific maps in detail. Normally priced at $31.25, you can get a 15% discount by using the code take15  Your net cost: $24.95
3125   QUICK VIEW
Custom map of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Custom map of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

3125   QUICK VIEW
215 The Ice Age Trail Map, Wisconsin Designed by Lisa Middleton

215 The Ice Age Trail Map, Wisconsin Designed by Lisa Middleton

 

168 Hiking trails of Hixon Forest, LaCrosse WI

168 Hiking trails of Hixon Forest, LaCrosse WI

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Saving the Delta Queen…. Saga Continues!

Hot off the Press! The Delta Queen hasn’t been written off yet!

WASHINGTON (AP) –
The Delta Queen could be back cruising waterways sometime soon.

The Senate voted 85-12 on Monday to allow the legendary riverboat to carry passengers if certain safety changes are made to the wooden vessel. In the past, the Delta Queen had been exempted from a 1966 law that had prevented wooden boats from carrying passengers overnight. That exemption lapsed in 2008.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a sponsor of the measure, appealed to her colleagues to help return the “Delta Queen to her rightful place on the mighty Mississippi.”

McCaskill said three presidents rode on the Delta Queen – Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter and Harry S. Truman. She said the boat operated for decades without incident.

The House still must act on the bipartisan bill.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Monarchs on the Mississippi River!

 Bellevue State Park Butterfly Sanctuary

Bellevue State Park, near Bellevue, Iowa, just south of Dubuque, is located atop a 300-foot high limestone bluff with panoramic views of the Mississippi River valley and Lock & Dam 12. It also shelters the largest Butterfly Garden in Iowa.

The Garden Sanctuary for Butterflies near the South Bluff Nature Center in the Nelson Unit contains a variety of interesting displays on the plants, animals and geology of Bellevue State Park.

. This unique area contains over one hundred separate plots, each featuring plants which provide food and habitat for butterflies. A network of pathways allows visitors to walk through the garden and see a wide variety of butterflies as well as enjoy the beautiful array of flowers and the pond in the center. For more information visit the website at Butterfly Garden.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, butterflies found in Iowa are either in the process of migration or are completing one of the various stages of their life cycle. Approximately 60 species of butterfly can be expected to make their appearance at the Butterfly Garden each year. Host plants for butterflies include wild aster, ragweed, goldenrod, lamb’s-quarters, daisy fleabane, milkweed, cottonwoods, wild cherry, hackberry and willows.

Small Boat Cruise on the Shannon River, Ireland!

The PBS special on exploring the Shannon River in Ireland reminds me that we have several pieces on Ireland you may like to View. Clicking the BLUE links or the photos will take you to the stories and our shopping cart with zoom lens for the historic maps.

Click photo of the SHANNON PRINCESS to see our full review of visiting Ireland with Gourmet Chef, Olivia Powers.WATERWAY CRUISE REPORT
Cruising the Irish Heartland on the SHANNON RIVER
with the Shannon Princess

or use the SEARCH BOX upper right, to find more recent Ireland-related pieces on greatriver.com

Passionate Ireland! In conjunction with our river cruises, we generally do a two week land tour. Click Blue Link for our view of “Passionate Ireland.”

For Map Buffs, here is Ireland and the British Isles. These are all from an 1906 series by English Cartographer, John Bartholomew. I love the colors painted by the map artist, and the fact that RAILROADS are the featured mode of transportation rather than highways!

Click the image to find more about the history and how to purchase each map.

038 England 1906

113 Scotland 1906   057 Ireland 1906

Map art is available in numerous sizes and as note cards. Click on images for details.

You may be spotting TRUMPETER Swans near Goose Island on Wisc. Shore!

Brief note, now is an excellent time to be observing waterfowl passing through Pool 8. We saw a pair of TRUMPETER SWANS hanging about all last week in the sloughs and just south of Goose Island (normally in twos, rather than a large group, and note the very large black bill. Wing spread can approach 10 feet!). The Audubon group confirms that indeed there are many more TRUMPETERS than normal on the Upper Missisippi this year. A small mob of PELICANS is clustering forlornly in the Bay just above Stoddard.

  • Adult

    Trumpeter Swan

    • Very large swan with all-black bill
    • Long, sloping forehead
    • © Laura Erickson, St. Louis, Missouri, February 2008

Similar Species: Tundra Swan

  
(Trumpeter Swans are also found from St. Louis to N. Wisconsin! – Pat)

Additionally, among the many ducks seen between Goose Island and Genoa, are Lesser Scaup, Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Canvas Backs, Bufflehead, and American Widgeon. Bring your bird book! My goal this spring has to get some of these sorted out with my binoculars and a little help from the Audubon Club. These are strikingly  beautiful ducks!

Eagles continue to be prolific from the Twin cities south. Not unusual to see as many as 11 adults in sight on the ice. I’m also noting many juveniles still hanging about. They become dispersed once the ice melts, so enjoy them while you can.  See an eagle nest? Look for the “balde” head of the adult sitting in it!

New Railroad Anthology by Michael Gillespie now available!

New from Michael Gillespie, THE PHANTOM BRAKEMAN and Other Old Time Railroad Stories from the Era of Steam
ISBN 978-0-9711602-6-2, 172 pages, $19.95. Also available to museums and gift shops.

Phantom LR book coverPlease call 608-457-2734 to ORDER your books for immediate shipping.

As with all our books by steam historian, Michael Gillespie, this collection is full of historic photographs, entertaining tales from the days of steam railroading, and witty, insightful editorial commentary!

If you enjoyed COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, WILD RIVER WOODEN BOATS, or OLD TIME RAILROAD Stories, you will want to add this quality book to your steam collection.

Railroad buffs will also enjoy our broad selection of gift prints of Railroad maps! Please visit greatriverarts.com > SHOP and then enter railroad maps into the SEARCH button. We have maps for many individual lines and states. Also, all maps in the 1906 series include rail lines from that time frame.  NO_DELTA_MAP_small

 

Early Arrivals: Cranes, Tundra Swans. Eagles on the Move and on the Nest

3 SandhillsDuring our brief early February “summer” our Mississippi River big birds made their move to the North.

Sandhill Cranes, in.
Tundra Swans migrating north overhead in huge flocks… check.
Bald Eagles are currently everywhere… 17 on the edge of the river ice, 4 circling up ahead, 3 in a dead tree. And more on the nests! It is a great moment to be out observing the transformatio
n to spring!

How early are the cranes this year? Several days earlier than my historic “early date” of Feb 23, 2005! Here are some more arrival dates:

Feb 18, 2017
Feb 23, 2005  (a good two weeks earlier than normal!)
March 15, 2003
March 13, 2002
March 13, 2001

March 16, 1999
March 1, 1998
March 10, 1997
March 13, 1996
March 18, 1993
April 4, 1992
March 9, 1988
March 17, 1987

Finally, check out this river snapshot! Could that be an adult Golden Eagle confronting an adult Bald Eagle? And what about the immature on lower right? Is it Bald or Golden? I’d love your opinion!

Eagles in trees - Could this be a Golden Eagle on Left

Get out there and enjoy before the next storm hits!

Upcoming Audubon Birding Events

color in winterFebruary 17-20 Great Backyard Bird Count Bird watchers of all ages count birds to create a real time snapshot of where birds are. To learn more and participate in this citizen science project, visit their website at: http://gbbc.birdcount.org

March 19 – Mississippi River Waterfowl Field Trip. Dan Jackson will lead a waterfowl viewing field trip on Saturday, Meet at 8 a.m. at the entrance to Goose Island. We will head south and look for waterfowl and other
early migrants as far as Genoa or Rush Creek and finish around noon. The trip is free and open to everyone.child with chickadee winter

April 8 – Annual Midwest Crane Count – 5:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. The Annual Midwest Cr
ane Count is one of the largest citizen-based wildlife surveys in the world. One of the primary purposes of the Crane Count is to monitor the abundance and distribution of cranes in th
e Upper Midwest. The Crane Count is organized by county in Wisconsin and portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota. Scott Puchalski will coordinate La Crosse County this year. Other area counties are also looking for volunteers.

Past participants will receive an email from Scott in early April inviting you to participate again. If you have not counted before and would like to join the count, please send Scott an email at: obsidianblur@gmail.com and he will help you get started. More information on the Crane Count can be found at: www.savingcranes.org.

 

SHOP Great River Publishing/Great River Arts

Welcome!  IT’S A GREAT RIVER! and a GREAT GIFT… for your favorite Mississippi or Missouri River Buff, Retiree, or Armchair Traveler!

 Order Securely Online TODAY!

 Please visit our new Great River Shopping Cart for Artisan maps, Historic Maps, and Custom Designed Maps by Map Artist, Lisa Middleton. Click Image
below and enter key word in SEARCH BOX. Several Hundred maps!!

Pike's map of the upper Mississippi River with Eagle


We believe we have the most extensive collection of eye-popping interpretive river cards available!!

Please call 888-255-7726!

Books, Books!

Click Image below to see Mississippi River Guides!

Discover! America's Great River Road is the indispensible guidebook to the Upper Mississippi River ... heritage, natural history and recreation. Since 1987!   

 “We just traveled 5829 miles along the Mississippi River; from Baton Rouge, LA to Lake Itasca, MN up thwest side of the river and back down to Interstate 80 on the east side. Your DISCOVER! guidebooks are wonderful. We are going back next year to go the rest of the way to the end in the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks!”    ~ Faith

Click Image below to see ALL our Steamboat and Railroad Books!

 To order any of our products, call Great River Publishing
toll-free at 888-255-7726 or order securely online at www.greatriver.com/order.htm

You may also order any of our books or maps by
mailing your personal check or money order to
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W987 Cedar Valley Road
Stoddard, WI 54658
Please include $7 shipping with your order.

Happy Holidays to All!
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