Winter boldness

January 25th, 2013 by Driftless Wisconsin

4To the contrary, we have not abandoned the summer cabin and gone south for the duration.  There are too many extraordinary sights we might miss. Driftless Wisconsin in winter is quite spectacular.  Stripped of its leafy pretense, the landscape takes on a naked honesty. Without a shred of camouflage to hide behind, limestone outcroppings show their face, rivers step from behind the shoreline curtain, and the land reveals its character.

Wildlife, resigned to a seasonal shyness for most of the year, can be seen scampering among leafless forests and across barren farm fields. No movement goes unnoticed.  Winter is a season for boldness.

Eagles symbolize this daring to be seen. As rivers ice over, eagles gather around open water below dams like picnickers to a feast.  The regal birds can be seen perched in trees like holiday ornaments.

Two upcoming events celebrate these gatherings:  Prairie du Chien holds its annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Day on February 23.  The event will bring together birding experts, wildlife exhibits, and live eagle and raptor programs, along with spectators with an eye of appreciation for these extraordinary birds.

On March 2, Ferryville celebrates its annul Bald Eagle Day with naturalists programs, art exhibits, photo exhibits, and food to enjoy.  And they have an owl hooting contest that’s truly a hoot to watch, and even better to try out your skills.

Not to be outdone by eagles soaring through the skies, international ski jumpers will gather at the annual Snowflake Ski Jumping Tournament in Westby on February 1 – 3 to try their own version of defying gravity.  Nothing quite compares to watching highly trained athletes mix courage with grace, flying though the air for hundreds of feet and landing with the precision of a Navy pilot.

Boldness need not be reserved for eagles and ski jumpers. Plenty of area skiing and hiking trails await your urge to get off that comfy couch, open the cabin door, and meet the cold Driftless Wisconsin winter face to face.  Your courage will be rewarded with sights altogether unseen during the summer, and a serenity draped with snow that will warm your heart.

And you’ll have more things to talk about that evening, gathering around the table to share fine wine, good food, and the day’s discoveries.  Be bold. Step out the door and greet the Driftless Wisconsin winter.