Finally! I've Been Counting the Days...
In early 2017 (which will be here before you know it!), Beautiful Barren River Lake State Resort Park will host two Nature Watch Weekends centered around Sandhill Cranes.
Each year thousands of gorgeous and graceful sandhill cranes make Barren River Lake a stop as they congregate in huge numbers to migrate. The lake’s exposed mud flats in winter provide the birds with a perfect spot to rest and socialize as they settle in for the night. Ample farmlands and wet meadows offer plenty of food.
Tours will be offered for guests to learn more about these intriguing birds with a unique sound. Tours will be held Jan. 21 and Jan. 28, 2017. Each weekend also includes an educational session conducted by a wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources on Friday evening at 7 p.m. Registration is $40 per adult and $20 per child 8-12 years old (must be at least 8 years old to go on van tours). The fee includes all educational sessions, a box lunch, a T-shirt and a choice of a Saturday sunrise or Saturday sunset tour.
Families and individuals can enjoy other entertainment and lodging opportunities at the park. Barren River Lake State Resort Park features a lodge, cottages, the Driftwood Restaurant, a seasonal campground, 18-hole golf course, marina, fishing, tennis courts, hiking trails, gift shop, and recreational and nature programming.
The park is located at 1149 State Park Road in Lucas. From the Louis B. Nunn Parkway, take the Highway 31E exit south toward Scottsville.
It’s unspeakably delicious and I could eat it every single day if I could.
We always like to get to the restaurant a little before they open to spend some time behind the restaurant. Geese, herons, ducks, turtles… you never know for sure what friends you’ll make – but the experience is always magical.
The stars of the show this time were gorgeous, graceful white herons. I say they were the “stars of the show,” but to be honest,I was so enraptured with them I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. There could have been a dinosaur beside me and I’d have never known.
If you’ve read other Genuine Kentucky “Kentucky Pictures of the Day,” you’ve probably seen that I am obsessed with reflection pictures. When trees, birds, animals, or even good old-fashioned human beings are reflected in water (or glass for that matter), my amateur photographer heart skips about a hundred beats.
It’s my thing, plain and simple.
These two beautiful birds were, however, most interested in fishing on the banks, so I had to wait quite a while.
I didn’t think Murphy’s Law was allowed at Kentucky Lake! Is nothing sacred?!?
Kentucky is such a beautiful state and affords us so many chances to have our breath taken away. Best of all, this is true spring, summer, fall, and winter – so get outside and enjoy the beauty that Kentucky and its wildlife and trees offer.
You never know what… or who… is waiting for you.
The wonderful thing about the Nature Station is that you see more than just the beautiful and amazing animals the center cares for and protects. You also get to enjoy and photograph countless birds, squirrels, and even the occasional skunk, if you’re lucky!
The squirrel in these pictures posed for me beautifully and his friend behind him never moved.
I actually put my phone down and just watched them for a long time. I’m sure I’ve seen too many Disney movies in my life (if there’s even such a thing as “too” many), but they honestly seemed to be hanging out with each other.
Admittedly, I spend a great deal of time encouraging you to visit the LBL – whether it’s been a while since you did so or if you’ve never been. This is an amazing part of Kentucky and the attractions are something you’ll talk about all year.
Well, let me correct myself, actually. You’ll talk about your experiences for years to come. We sat in a car surrounded by big, majestic bison (as they crossed the road) in the Prairie three or four years ago and frequently talk about it to this day.
We also talk about HUGE heirloom tomatoes we saw at the Homeplace, like, six years ago! Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like them and I think about them nearly each time I slice a fresh tomato. We also talk about the time I practically laid on my stomach in the leaves to take a picture of a skunk at the Nature Station. I was more worried about getting a great shot than I was of being “shot” by the little stinker.
Suffice to say, whether you are into photography, animals, Kentucky, trees, travel, or making memories with your family (or, like me, you’re all about EACH one) – the Land Between the Lakes is the place to be. I promise you, you will fall head over heels in love with everything about it.
Like all good bird watching nerds, I keep a bird journal and they weren’t just days late, they were weeks late!
Next month, August, is actually peak hummingbird viewing season in many parts of the region, including the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
Hundreds of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds rest and fuel up in the gardens and feeders at Woodlands Nature Station for their migratory journey south. Nature Station naturalists present special hummingbird programs throughout August included with regular admission to the Nature Station: $5 ages 13 and older, $3 ages 5 to 12, and free for ages 4 and younger.
Optimal hummingbird viewing begins in mid-July and lasts throughout August. The Nature Station provides a unique opportunity for up to 10 people during an Early Morning Hummingbird Photo Session. Photographers may also photograph butterflies, native wildflowers, and rescued wildlife including the red wolves and bobcat during their most active time of day. The Early Morning Hummingbird Photo Sessions begin at 9am on August 13 and 27. The cost is $10 per person. Call 270-924-2020 for reservations.
On August 20, the Nature Station opens early for Hummingbird Café. Enjoy breakfast among the native wildflower gardens and hummingbird feeding frenzy. The cost is $10 per person; call 270-924-2020 for reservations.
Nature Station visitors can enter Nature Station’s first ever Hummingbird Photo Contest by submitting a hummingbird photo taken at the Nature Station during August. Winners will have their photos displayed at Hummingbird Fest 2017. See full contest details on the web at http://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/nature-station-hummingbird-photo-contest-2016/.
Contact the Nature Station at 270-924-2299 with questions or for more information about Hummingbird Month.