Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kohler-Andrae State Park
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
July 2008

Guess I have the camping bug back again!! With gas prices I don't feel like wandering too far from home so when I found this campground less than 2 hours from home I was off for a couple of nights under the stars.

This place was wonderful!! Not as "rugged" feeling as Peninsula State Park, in fact the lady across from me lives in Sheboygan and ran home every morning to shower and put on her makeup. Then she came back to camp and sat in her chair and read, or rode her bike or walked her very adorable King Charles Spaniel. Now that is a dog I would love to have.

Anyway, the camp is right on Lake Michigan with tons of lake front beaches and sand dunes to visit and wander. At the back of the campground is the Black River and Marsh area. There is a 1/4 mile boardwalk loop out over the marsh which I walked several times to watch for birds and other critters.

Black River Marsh Boardwalk

Lots of red winged blackbirds and sparrows, but the prize was getting a picture of a Marsh Wren as they are supposedly very shy. The one I saw, although a ways out in the Marsh hung there on the pussy willow and sang his little heart out.

Marsh Wren

Not only was there a boardwalk over the marsh, there are several cordwalk's out over the sand dunes along the beach. I walked one of them twice and the second one only went halfway and came back as it wasn't a loop. A cordwalk is a series of boards strung together with rope/cable and laid on the sand. They are pretty cool. Here is a picture of a section in the sand dunes. That is Common Yarrow along the path.

As I said, this campground has everything; a playground, a laundry, a shelter for storms - Sheboygan had an awful storm a couple of weeks ago including a tornado, so I'm sure the shelters were used that day, a nature center, lots of hiking trails - I didn't get to all of them, several beach areas, including the North Beach area which allows dogs - even has a drinking fountain with a doggie level bowl and free plastic bags to carry away any doggie deposits, firewood, ice.....and, it's two miles south of Sheboygan and a few minutes away from a gas station, Piggly Wiggly and a shopping center with Target and Home Depot. Not exactly the wilderness, but very pretty.

I found lots and lots of wildflowers again and here are a few of them.

Common Milkweed

Starting in August the Monarch Butterflies head south, Kohler-Andrae is one of their layovers because of the abundance of Milkweed in the area. Another reason to go back, butterfly pictures. I believe this is a Monarch caterpillar on this milkweed picture.

Bittersweet Nightshade

AKA Bluebell

I guess I don't want to forget about the critters. Yes, the raccoons got a loaf of bread,'s a couple of other critters I saw.

A couple of links if you are interested - Kohler-Andrae State Park

Wikipedia Monarch Butterfly Page

All pictures by marhaven.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Door County, Wi
Peninsula State Park
Camping Trip
July, 2008

Door County has always been on my list of places to visit. Last week the kids decided to go camping at Peninsula State Park and I went along for a couple of nights. My short visit certainly whetted my appetite - I will be returning soon for a longer stay. Peninsula State Park is huge - here is a link for their website: Peninsula State Park

The campsites here are wooded and shady, the bathrooms have flush toilets and free showers with hot water, there is a beach, lots of waterfront to fish from and lots, lots more. We went during the week and had no trouble getting a site, but if you want to go on a weekend plan ahead. Way ahead.

Some scenes from the beach:

Everyone enjoyed the beach and joined in the fun:

Click to make Larger

In addition to the usual birds -


Ring-Billed Gull
Click to make Larger

I discovered lots of wildflowers. Here are a few. All are clickable.

Oxeye Daisy

Spotted Knapweed

St John's Wort

Wood Anemone
Click to make Larger

Door County is a magical place I plan to visit again. Barely scratched the surface this first trip. The antique stores as you enter Egg Harbor are calling me back. I stopped at a market store and sampled cherry strudel, cherry salsa and chunky cherry jam. Yummy stuff.

Here is a link to the main Door County website where you can check it all out.

Door County

See you there!!

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