The Neighborhood

One of the fringe benefits of working with the birds is meeting the local folks. Berlin and Princeton are full of great people. 

The farmers surrounding White River Marsh have come to love the whooping cranes as much as we do. They love seeing the chicks or a pair of White Birds out on their fields. The chicks have a favorite field and their presence has been a bright spot for the farmer who has had a rough fall season.

Hunters out on the marsh watch out for them, watch them play and love telling me what they are up to out there. They reassure me they will trap coyotes this winter in the hopes of a safer Spring nesting season.

Jerry, from the Wisconsin DNR kept us supplied with veggies from his garden all fall as well as mowing our pen site and a hundred other things we needed through out the season.

Some of the delicious veggies from Jerry’s garden.

A teenager waiting on me at a store in Princeton worked on the giant origami crane at the Princeton High School for CraneFest in 2016 and follows our Field Journal blog.

The tires need to be checked and rotated before we head south, so Brooke is on his way to Barry’s, the mechanic who keeps our vehicles on the road. He always asks about the chicks, he has become a friend. The guys that work there Jack and Jeremy, are so friendly and quick to help that I look forward to doing a chore that I normally would dread.

Walmart is part of our almost daily routine and there are a couple of ladies there that are so sweet and funny that I always leave happier than I came in.

I love the temperature and the snow that fell last night. I don’t even mind (too much) not having running water. The only thing I don’t love is the outhouse!

Tomorrow and Monday will be good migration days, if cranes 1, 2 and 8-17 don’t take the hint and go south, we will box them and take them to Goose Pond in Greene County, Indiana early next week. It’s a wonderful place and I am tickled with this plan. There were 18 White Birds sprinkled around the area a few days ago. They will make friends there.

It’s going to be hard to leave here, I love Princeton and Berlin and I will miss these people when we and the chicks head south.

Share Button


  1. Barb December 9, 2017 9:19 pm

    It sounds like you all have found “Mr Rogers Neighborhood” in Princeton and Berlin. There are wonderful people in our world.

  2. Maggie Turk December 9, 2017 2:23 pm

    Sounds like you are feeling melancholy about the White River Marsh area. I am sure they will miss all of you also as you have put their area on the map of Wisc. Just one of so many friendly communties in this great state. Enjoy your winter in a nice warm area and think of us shoveling that beautiful fluffy white “stuff”. ENJOY!!!

  3. PattiLat December 9, 2017 1:27 pm

    Delicious! Thanks Colleen for sharing you thoughts on “It Takes a Village. I really appreciate everything you ALL write and everything you ALL do. Godspeed in it!

  4. karen anne December 9, 2017 12:48 pm

    Those look mighty like heirloom tomatoes.