Monday, May 17, 2010

Wildlife Refuge

This past weekend we packed everyone up and went camping.

Renner above.

Our destination was Savanna Portage State Park which is about 3 hours north of the Twin Cities area.

The weather was absolutely beautiful, but it had rained heavily the day before our arrival so there was some mud and ‘skeeters’. The mud dried up quickly as the temps warmed into the high 70’s (Fahrenheit). We had been to Savanna Portage previously so this time we spend the majority of our exploration time at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This place was about half an hour away and is a vast area where you could spend a lot of time walking all of the trails. They also have a drive though, self-guided tour. You pick up a pamphlet and read about the special things pointed out by signs with numbers that correspond to the number in the pamphlet.

Scooter has been having problems with his right, front leg. He was in for x-rays but the first time they showed his leg clear in the area where we thought the trouble was. However, further up in his shoulder, which was not well covered by the first x-rays, there looked to be some cloudiness. So today he is back in having his shoulder x-rayed again…and we are praying it is not something horrid.

Still, because of his shoulder being sore and the limping we elected to drive through the refuge and to stop and do some short walks on the trails. (Scooter is the black and white on the left, Renner on the right.)

The speed you can drive through the refuge is pretty low and no one else was behind us so we took the ride slowly with the windows down so the boys could stick their heads out when they wanted to. Renner is above, Scooter is below.

We really didn’t see as much ‘wildlife’ as we would have liked and we did this in the morning and again in the evening to see a variety of critters.

Each time it was just a beautiful place, and though we didn’t get to see a lot of inhabitants we did see this guy….

SONY DSCThis Porcupine was just kind of toddling along the road. A very large one to be sure and we made sure to give him lots of space. Sure don’t want to mix it up with one of these guys.

SONY DSC Look at all those quills just waiting to embed themselves in someone’s skin!

SONY DSC Boggs are the lay of the land out at this reserve. The frogs were vocalizing so loudly it was nearly deafening in some areas. “PARTY!”

SONY DSC This was a drainage area than I do believe some beavers were helping with. There were several beaver lodges in the area which I could not get a decent photo of as they were pretty far into the wetlands.

There were places you could go up onto to get a better view of Rice Lake and the surrounding area.

The Indians in the area used to harvest rice from these lands (and waters), thus the name Rice Lake. What a beautiful view.

We also hiked a bit on this trail, ‘The Civilian Conservations Corps’ trail. One of the things that fascinated me on this trail were some of the burned tree trunks.

 These charred remains just ‘glistened’ in the sunlight as if they were highly polished. The photos I took of them just don’t do them proper justice.

We explored until the boys grew tired and then headed back to camp. Certainly this refuge is a place we will return to one of these days, it is filled with places to explore.

For more ‘That’s My World Tuesday’ photos click here!


  1. What a beautiful place! And your photos are terrific! I do hope Scooter doesn't have too serious a problem and that he's feeling better very soon. Glad you had such a great time!


  2. I can see you had a wonderful time :))
    The first picture is so cute !!!

    Hugs to all from Kareltje =^.^=

  3. What a beautiful place to go camping. I have never seen a porcupine in real life except for in a zoo. The photos of the dogs are just awesome. They all are actually. How fun. Have a great week ahead :)

  4. lovely photos! and the dogs are so sweet!

  5. aloha,

    i'm enjoying what you are posting today from your world, love the photos of rice lake and your commentary, beautiful place

    thanks for sharing this and have a great week!

  6. We have our fingers crossed that Scooter doesn't have osteo! He's such a good looking boy.

    I love places like that! I envy you having all that time to enjoy it. Your pictures are lovely!

  7. Beautiful photos. Simply beautiful. Everything looks so lush and the dog photos capture the essence of these beautiful creatures.

  8. Still think you take some real arty pictures, keep up this most intresting site.

    Guess again!!!!

  9. Hi all,
    Thank you so much for all of your kind comments. I enjoy your visits and your comments! So glad you enjoyed the photos and commentary. Houndstooth thanks so much for the good wishes for Scooter. We are still on hold regarding what is happening with him, but are working on figuring things out. Meanwhile he seems pretty pain free.

    Annoymous - I have absolutely no idea who you are, but I appreciate your visits and so glad you have been finding the site an interesting place! Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment, I'd thank you personally but have no idea how to reach you.

    Again, many thanks to all!

  10. A gorgeous place, to be sure - I didn't know you had rice growing areas! And I'd love to hear the frogs ...

    But all I can think of now is Scooter and his X-rays. I'm sending all the good vibes I can muster, because I know the fear in the back of your mind. Please let me know what the dx is! And if it's the worst, don't forget Dr Couto at OSU!!

    But it won't be. It can't be. Scritches to the lovely Scooter!




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