Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lake Audubon, North Dakota

Last week I packed up my little cat Freddie and went across the border to North Dakota (just a few miles away).  Destination:  the state capitol, Bismarck.

We went down via ND #5 and I-83.  A bit south of Minot, I-83 crosses the eastern end of the great reservoir created by the Garrison Dam.  The west side of the bridge is Lake Sakakawea.  The east side is Lake Audubon and the Lake Audubon Wildlife Refuge.

There is a new visitor's center.  What a fantastic place.

This sign made me smile.  My Tribute is not terribly fuel efficient, although not bad for a small SUV, so I didn't park there.

This National Wildlife Refuge, like all the others, relies on a vast network of dedicated volunteers for building, maintaining, recreating destroyed habitats, etc and what a wonderful thing to be doing with one's time!

The displays are beautiful.

Any place that has a Rachel Carson quote in a prominent place automatically garners my highest respect. 

The Center is all about education. 

Really, one cannot walk around this place and not learn something.

I learned that Redhead ducks sometimes lay an egg in the nest of Canvasbacks, the little sneaks.  I didn't know this sort of thing happened in the world of waterfowl.  Redheads and Canvasbacks are similarly coloured (red head, grey-white-ish body). 

John James Audubon spent a summer in this area, about 1843 or so.

Remarkably creative displays

A prairie profile:  grasses and a purple coneflower (Echinacea sp.) etc at the surface, root system, earthworms, Richardson's ground squirrel tunnels...

Oh, and this place was built Green and Sustainable.   Geothermal heating/cooling

An array of solar panels

And one of my favourite quotes ever.

Visit the website:  http://www.fws.gov/audubon/


  1. What a wonderful post. I've always wanted to see the Garrison Dam and visit this refuge. Last spring I intended and then the floods hit. Next spring for sure..... ;)

  2. Great post Kathy, now I want to visit the Lake Audubon Wildlife Refuge very badly! How did Freddie like it?