Do we just fall into fall or plan to do something about it?

Jim Baumgart  Sheboygan County Supervisor

Fall is in the air. If you’re an early riser, as I am, you can feel it some days as you head out in the early morning hours. You know its coming as it does every year. But it was especially real for our Canadian fishing crew as we drove north for a late season fishing trip some 700 miles to Vermillion Bay, Ontario, a couple of weeks ago. We could see it and feel it coming - Wisconsin would soon experience the same, first up north and slowly sliding south - shorter days, cooler temperatures and finally the beauty of the fall colors that will spread throughout the landscape. And, as we all understand what comes next, we understand the need to be prepared.

This writer, Don and Frank Lohr of Sheboygan Falls and my brother Roman Baumgart of Kenosha headed north in the early hours of Friday, August 30, for a week of fishing in a remote fly-in lake, 55 minute flight east of Vermillion Bay. Season-wise, this northern land was showing the first changes in leaf coloration and cool nights - something Wisconsin would begin to experience within a few weeks after our return from Canada.

While we can just accept the fall days to overtake us or we can plan ahead to enjoy this special season. Right know, farmers can be observed well on their way of harvesting their fall corn crops, as they did in the early season hay and vegetable fields, and their large machines will continue to be seen until late fall and maybe beyond.

Organizations, like Maywood, are inviting people to join them on their Saturday morning walks to observe the fall migration of birds. Camp Y-Koda is offering two canoe and kayak outings on the Sheboygan River on October 16 (from 9:30 a.m. to noon) and October 20 (1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.); you can join them by calling (920) 467-6882 to register or for more information. They have equipment you can rent or you can bring your own (life vest required).

Debbie Beyer, University of Wisconsin Extension naturalist, is offering bird walks along the Sheboygan River on Thursdays, Oct 10 and Oct. 14, starting at 8 a.m. Those interested should meet at Esslingen Park (Follow Indiana Avenue, just west of Taylor Drive, Sheboygan).

Or you can head out in early October to one of my favorite locations - The Henschel’s farm and Indian Museum (920-876- 3193). They will host their annual “Pumpkin Patch” event on Saturday and Sunday, October 5 & 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those attending will be able to see the Indian Museum, can have a scenic hayride to the Effigy Indian Mounds, walk a corn maze, enjoy the food. There is no admission but there is a cost for guided tour of the Indian Museum, hayrides, trout fishing, and food. The Henschel farm is located on a hill just north of the Sheboygan Marsh (Sexton Road, then Holstein Road) . Once your trip is over, you can visit the Sheboygan Marsh and climb the tallest wooden tower in Wisconsin to see the colors and marsh from 80 feet up.

As we move deeper into October, the fall colors will be at their best. A drive along the Kettle Moraine State Forest roads or, if your adventurous, some of the seldom used rural back roads will provide a relaxing view of the beauty of the landscape and a reminder of the efforts of countless farmers, sportspeople and environmentalist who have worked to wisely preserve these special lands for you and future generations.

Throughout the fall season, farmers and organizations of all kinds will be promoting the fall colors and activities to enjoy. Take time to enjoy the events you are interested in seeing.

Note: Maywood’s next two Saturday morning bird walks will be September 28 and October 5. Those interested should meet at the Maywood, 3615 Mueller Road, prior to 7:30 a.m. It’s free.

If you have questions, please call Maywood at (920) 459-3906.

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