Up Close and Personal
The water was smooth as glass and the sun was just peeking out from the clouds making the bog irresistible. Grabbing a canoe off the rack, we paddled away from the shore and into Big Bay Lagoon on Madeline Island.
Watching a pair of magnificent sandhill cranes, we could hear almost a purring sound. It took several minutes before we saw the two chicks camouflaged in the tall grass. The adults had been vocalizing to keep everyone together while they were busy feeding themselves then sharing the spoils with the little ones.
Next, it was the lonely call of a loon that drew us to the other side of the lagoon. Busy diving for food, he wasn’t too bothered by us softly paddling along, following him to snap some portraits.
Not quite as exotic, this family of geese were moving across the water to a new nesting spot, hidden from view.
Madeline Island is one of the Apostle Islands but isn’t technically part of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore. These rugged islands are seasonal homes to migrating birds and surprisingly, a large black bear population.
Kayak outfitters offer guided tours and rentals to view the islands from Lake Superior. Other options include tour boats that don’t require as much physical effort.
Traveling in the off-season has it’s limitations with sketchy weather and limited amenities in the small resort towns. But it made for a phenomenal natural adventure with the lagoon all to ourselves for just that one perfect, magical afternoon.
You can also check out my Madeline Island Picture Postcard.
Have you ever been to the Apostle Islands?