Tundra Swans Abundant in Pool 8, above Stoddard, Wi, and off Brownsville, Mn.

The wayside just south of Goose Island County Park, along Hwy 35  is offering excellent viewing of Tundra Swans and ducks once again. The Brownsville wayside on the Minnesota shore should be equally as busy. There are often DNR folks and other volunteers on hand over the weekend with spotting scopes. Bring your binoculars!!

For more on the history of Swans in Pool 8, enter Tundra Swans, and to answer the question of “why are they here now?” please CLICK HERE.

American Bald Eagles are also abundant, but the water is open as yet so they are fairly well distributed.

Colors are popping… perhaps 2 weeks early!!


Fall Foliage Hot Lines from greatriver.com

While mid-October seems to be the month when Fall Foliage really POPS along the Upper Mississippi River, it may be a little EARLIER this year. 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.

Great River Map Artist is in the news again!

Map Artist, Lisa Middleton, got her start on the Mississippi River, but she is truly nationally know for her custom designed artisan maps as well as her extensive body of hand painted historic maps. Her summer home is Montana, and the Northwestern market is keeping her busy. See ALL Lisa’s maps at www.greatriverarts.com

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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