Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Birds, Flowers & A Dog

We have camped pretty much all over the country & Canada. This looks like our stay closer to home summer. There are three gorgeous State Parks less than a hours drive away. One of these is Myre-Big Island State Park near Albert Lea. This park has something for everyone. The trails take visitors around wet lowlands, oak savanna, and grasslands. Albert Lea Lake and park marshes draw hundreds of waterfowl during migration. Oak savanna and prairie landscape, including wetlands, dominate most of the park. One of the more unique aspects of the park is the 116-acre Big Island that is covered with maple/basswood forest. Another is the glacial esker located in the northeast section of the park.
If you like camping, hiking, birding and walking the dog, this is the place for you. We joined our friends Gary and Rosie, to do all three. Mrs T had a bum knee which limited her hiking but she got some photography and reading done, Gary also did some photography and walked big bad Baron. Troutbirder mentored Rosie in her novice outing as a birder.
In 2 days. Rosie identified around 30 birds, along with spotting numerous deer, ground hogs and other creatures. Birding highlights included an osprey, two green herons, lots of yellow warblers, redstarts, bobolinks, white pelicans, cormorants etc.

The prairie habitat was great for bobolinks and meadowlarks

During our hikes many delicate wildflowers came into view.

Wild Rose


Blue Flag Iris
In a walk along the lakeshore we came upon some daylilies. These plants are often a sign of an abandoned farmstead. Shortly thereafter, what I thought were some old fashioned shrub roses appeared.

Closer examination proved them to be otherwise. The pink flowers looked very pea-like. Some of these shrubs were at least twelve feet tall.

All in all, Myre-Big Island State Park proved to be a great spot to relax for a few days. And it didn't cost a fortune in gas to get there!


  1. What a wonderful place to hang out. Great photographs, good times with friends, and no long drive home. Sounds perfect.

  2. Looks like a nice visit. Sometimes there are wonderful sights right near home. I like the flower pictures too.

  3. This is how life should be spent. Exploring what is closest too home is just as great as spending lots of money on an expensive vacation. I would rather have a walk with nature any day. Great photos.

  4. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit. And within an hour's drive? How lucky are you??? Great photos.

  5. Hi TB, Thanks for visiting my blog. My hubby and I are about the same age (he was 67 in March and I will be 67 in August). We are retired --and love being out in nature like you all do.

    Yesterday, when I met with fellow bloggers, Shelley and Leedra, they talked about you and your blog being so good. SO--I was going to check yours out anyway even if you hadn't have come to mine.

    We too are doing things these days closer to home. Your weekend at Myre-Big Island sounded perfect.

    I am a 'rookie' birder--but learning fast--from people like you.

    Come back anytime and I will return to yours.

  6. That sounds like a fabulous place TB. I can just imagine how many bugs there are in the area. :)

  7. Looks like you had a good camping trip. I'll be curious to see if you eventually identify what you thought was a rose bush. Staying closer to home worked for me last year and I think I'll do the same this year. I'll be enjoying camping but no farther than a one-half to three hour drive. Here in the north country that's "close!" Too often people overlook what's under our own noses!

  8. We camped there a few years back and had a wonderful time.

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  10. Sounds like a beautiful place! Love seeing all the wildflowers. :c)

  11. Sounds like my kind of vacation! I need to drag Mr. Geek away from the farmlette for a weekend and head for the mountains, I think!

  12. Hi TB, I wonder what that pea blossomed shrub is. Looks like a wonderful place to visit and just relax.

  13. Thanks for the tour Troutbirder. I haven't been to Big Island SP for years. Do they still hold the Rendezvous there in the fall too? That might be a good time for me to visit the park again.

  14. What is the bush with pink flowers?