I spent the day driving around northern Wisconsin, visiting school districts for whom I’ll be writing grants this year. On a drive from Superior to Mellen, I saw three bald eagles. These enormous creatures just perch in the tree branches next to the highway, casually watching me drive by, oblivious to the involuntary patriotic fervor they inspire. When I later confessed to the the superintendent in Glidden that they were the highlight of my trip, he gave me a hot tip: Hwy 77W through the Chequamegon National Forest could reveal elk, bear, wolves, deer. Like the gold miners who moved west with nothing but speculation, I drove 45 minutes out of my way at dusk with a heart full of hope.
The trip through the forest was dull – no wildlife except crows. Then, just as I exited the forest and entered a nameless, unincorporated small town, I crest a hill and have to slam on the brakes. Crossing the road is an albino deer! Pure white! Oh, how it was worth the wait. I am grateful for national funding that preserves habitat for wildlife, and lets me see such beauty. (A good use of our taxes.)
Photo by Illinois Wildlife Lover. (Sadly, I forgot my camera on this trip.)