At the beginning of 2010, I had only visited 5 nature preserves out of the 68 preserves owned by ACRES Land Trust. So I decided to make a concerted effort to visit more preserves, specifically to visit 50 preserves this year, to commemorate ACRES’ 50th anniversary.
One: Kokiwanee Nature Preserve, Wabash County
February 28, 2010
It was an overcast day but we had high hopes as my husband and I followed our friends Renee and John to the Salamonie Dam, where they had seen bald eagles the previous Sunday. On the drive, I suggested to Steve that we start visiting ACRES Nature Preserves. At the dam, we did not see any eagles, but several fishermen said they saw some at Kokiwanee several days prior. So we hopped in the cars and I started my quest to discover 50 preserves.
It was a gray day, but we happily hiked down Mossy Heights Trail to a limestone ledge overlooking Salamonie River.
Steve and John arrived first and were getting their binoculars out, while Renee and I followed with her entertaining me with her memories of going to Girl Scout Camp at the site. As we approached the ledge, suddenly she said, “There’s an eagle!” It was perched in a tree directly across the river, giving us a full view. I was startled by its size and how white its head was.
In a few seconds, the eagle flew upriver and we settled in for some serious bird watching. Except where were they? So we inspected the moss on Mossy Heights.
Soon an eagle flew down river. It’s the little black dot in this picture. I don’t have the equipment to capture an eagle flying, although this was the first time I tried it.
A few minutes later, an eagle flew right in front of us. I was too slow to take a picture, but, to tell the truth, my mouth was probably gaping open at the sight.
While it was too icy to tackle the trails, spotting bald eagles was quite a start to my 50 in 50 adventure. I wonder what the next preserve will bring?
From ACRES Land Trust Preserve Guide:
“Kokiwanee features bluffs along the Salamonie River and streams tumbling down waterfalls to flow into the river. This is a place of many species of trees; wildflowers, including snow trillium; and many birds from wood ducks on the river to great blue herons wading where the water is shallow, and many woodland species.”