5:45am, I walked out the front door and set out on my journey.
An hour later, I entered the arboretum and walked down a snowy trail.
Through the tunnel underneath the beltline.
Some of the trails were snowy in the Curtis Prairie, also.
Spring is slow in coming this year but the pussy willows look good.
As do the cat tails (and red wing blackbirds).
I wandered through the arboretum’s lost city.
100-year old streets being reclaimed by nature.
Another blackbird in the rushes along Lake Wingra.
Also spotted some loons in Lake Wingra.
In the marsh, on the other side of the road, sandhill cranes float in for a landing.
A little further along, a wood duck.
Another black bird, singing in spring. The red wing blackbird song is definitely one of the sounds of spring.
Soon I’m sitting by a dock in the bay, Monona Bay. I’ve been walking for two and a half hours. Time for a break.
I crossed West Washington Avenue on the pedestrian bridge, high above traffic.
And a few minutes later Lake Mendota was in view, from Alumni Park on the University of Wisconsin campus.
A selfie with the historic Red Gym, photo bombed by Bucky Badger.
Inside the Memorial Union I ran into my friends Len and Patricia, reading through the book of Hosea, as part of the Handwritten Bible Project. Stopped to rest my feet for a few minutes.
A map on display at Alumni Park plotted out the next part of my journey.
Nearby the colorful Hoofers sailboats await warmer weather.
Walking along the Howard Temin Lakeshore Path always conjures up memories of walking to class during my student days.
Most of the crew teams were out, practicing on this particular morning.
Stopped for a few minutes to watch the Badger baseball team. Baseball is a club sport, not a varsity sport at Wisconsin, sadly. It appeared the Badgers were playing UW-LaCrosse.
Arrived at Picnic Point to find a covey of coots.
And another blackbird, in the circle.
On the way to Frautschi Point, a red bellied woodpecker.
Picnic Point Beach and the capitol from Frautschi Point.
Farther along the Mendota Shore, Raymer’s Cove.
End point of my Lake Mendota shore walk, Wally Bauman’s woods.
Walking through Shorewood Hills, noticed a pick-up soccer game in progress.
After stopping for lunch, I realized my calves were not going to take me much further. So I hopped a bus and rode most of the rest of the way home. A 14-mile walk, though, through some of Madison’s beautiful natural areas. (This piece of art by friend and colleague Hong Huo.) A great way to spend a Saturday.