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Turtles and Herons - Friendly Faces Up North

Nitschke's Northern Resort is the perfect place to make summer memories. With all the amazing wildlife at your fingertips, its easy to see why kids drop their screens in favor of an outdoor adventure. A few weeks back, guests of the resort and I had the privilege of seeing a few friendly faces that have made 'up north' their stomping grounds.

woman holding turtle

As I was walking to meet a guest for our morning kayak trip around the lake, I was struck by a group of people standing in a circle on the hill. I approached them to see what was going on and to my surprise, I saw a female painted turtle laying her eggs.

Immediately, I ran to get my grandsons and the children of the guests I was planning on meeting with. They were so excited to watch this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

When the turtle finished covering the eggs with the sand from the hole she dug, she began her journey away from the eggs. I couldn't help but notice she was headed right for the road. For fear of her being hit by a car, I picked her up and carried her to the swamp on our property. Here she is below:

woman still holding turtle

The children then proceeded to build a fence around the nest of freshly laid turtle eggs. They made a sign for others to be careful not to disturb it. It was the most marvelous thing to see the kids working together to help protect nature. This most certainly will be something they remember for the rest of their lives.

kids around turtle nest

The eggs she laid, called a "clutch" will take roughly 75-80 days to hatch. When they do, you can bet there will be another set of excited, guest children waiting to welcome them into the world.

*Quick Facts* Painted turtles are widely found throughout North America and are estimated to have existed over 15 million years ago. They are very adapted to human-disturbed habitats and have been known to live for 55 years in some cases.

Another fantastic story of wildlife friendly faces happened the very next day!

I was walking down to the dock to go for a kayak ride when I saw the most beautiful sight...

Side note - I had never kayaked in my life before this day. I have always struggled with a fear of water and being that close to the water, seemed like a dreadful idea. Fortunately, a guest (now a dear friend of mine) found this out. She recommended I take a trip on the lake with her just to give it a try. I did, was terribly nervous at first, but then relaxed and fell in love with it! Now, I go kayaking often and have no fear of being on the water. It is so peaceful and relaxing, a great workout and a fantastic way to spend the morning with my grandson who now also enjoys kayaking.

Back to the story...

As I reached the dock, set back onto the lagoon on the resort, I was struck by a blue heron overhead circling the area. Naturally, I watched him as I waiting for my kayak buddy to arrive. He circled, landed on the tree you see below and sat for over 10 minutes.

heron on tree

Then, he flew to the top of a pontoon boat parked at one of our boat slips and landed.

heron on boat

How cool was that! I couldn't help but be amazed by a such a large, graceful creature. I felt blessed to be able to enjoy his company for the time I did.

On our kayak trip that day, we went past a loon breeding ground located in the lagoon of an island on Lake Kawaguesaga, where we saw even more amazing creatures.

It just goes to show you that every day at Nitschke's Northern Resort is an adventure! You never know what you will see, what you will do or who you will meet. If this sounds like your idea of a fun vacation, give us call. 715-356-7795.

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