Saturday, November 3, 2007

Crex Meadows - part I

This morning Les & I headed out to the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area. The place is HUGE! Be sure to pick up a map at the Area Center. It is much better than the one you can get off their web site, simply because it is clearer & larger.
We were going to leave Circle Pines at 7 a.m. -- but then I saw on the web site that open hours on weekends started only at 10 -- so we didn't leave until after 7:30. We need not have worried -- the hours are only for the office, not entrance to the Wildlife Area.
Right from the beginning I was impressed -- in less than a half hour I saw more Sandhill Cranes than I had seen in my life time (and that's a long time).
We were also amazed by the number of raptors, which another visitor told us were migrating through the area.
I'm impressed by Crex Meadows for a number of reasons. First, it is a large protected area with varied habitat. Second, the roads are generally very good (if you stay off the one lane trails, for which I would recommend 4-wheel drive) -- many are even paved. Also, the roads are generally higher than the surroundings, giving one a good view -- and they are well marked. I'm anxious to return, particularly in the Spring.
I'll be posting more pictures in the next several days, as I edit them. I'm estimating I took about 850 shots. The ones below are of Sandhill Cranes.

P.S. You should have come with us, Luther!