I grew up about a mile or so, as the crow flies, east of the Crawfish River between Milford and Hubbleton, Wisconsin. Not that those places are well-known international landmarks but they are the closest crossing points, south and north, respectively.
It wasn't until I started experimenting with Google Earth as a photo location scouting tool that I made some interesting discoveries.
One revelation was seeing Madison Audubon Society's Faville Grove Sanctuary sites on the west side of the Crawfish, just a little south from where I spent the first 18 years of my life.
Thinking to myself: the Audubon Society works on really important stuff, this must be a relatively recent thing. Then I did a little research and found that Aldo Leopold HIMSELF had begun fighting to preserve the area in the 1930s. Holy cow! I had no idea.
Of course, whenever we had the need to cross the river it was not to travel north and south between Milford and Hubbleton. We lived on a perfectly good road that already did that on the east side of the river. Still, how could I possibly have not known about this?
The Faville Grove sites are located in the Crawfish Prairie north of Lake Mills. On a recent visit, I was struck by the beauty of the oak-covered glacial moraines of the Faville Grove area and the prairies that have been preserved and are currently being restored by the Audubon Society. It also struck me how very different the east and west sides of the Crawfish River are in that area.
Madison Audubon is actively restoring and improving critical habitat with the help of many volunteers, interns, visitors, and local landowners. The feathered ones seem to approve. Drew Harry, Land Steward for the Faville Grove Sanctuary, commented in Madison Audubon's Spring 2016 newsletter that 108 bird species had been sighted in one day at Faville Grove, during the Great Wisconsin Birdathon.
While sheepish to have been so clueless I am glad to have learned about Faville Grove. I will return...with my camera.
Please support the Madison Audubon Society and their fine work.