On Sawyer Creek, Oshkosh, Wis.

We’ve been carrying a canoe across the country. Here we are in Wisconsin, right on the Fox River. It was time to put the canoe in the water.

Misty and Darren lent us some life vests. We decided to start with Sawyer Creek, a tributary of the Fox River. We drove to West Algoma Park, where there’s a nice grassy put-in for canoes and kayaks.

We’ve been walking along Sawyer Creek almost every day, and I went fishing in the creek a couple of days ago. But seeing the creek from a canoe is a very different experience.

Carol in the canoe on Sawyer Creek

We saw Black-crowned Night Herons and Great Egrets fishing along the banks of the creek. (We saw some humans fishing along the banks, too.) I turned just in time to see a small Yellow Perch roll up to the surface of the water, then dart away into the thickly-growing aquatic plants: Milfoils (Myriophyllum sp.), Pondweed (Potamogeton sp.), and Raccoontail (Ceratophyllum demersum).

Algae choked the surface in many places; but in the center of the channel, in the deepest part of the creek, the water was clear enough that we could see the sandy bottom among the plants. At least three species of aquatic plants were blooming: American White Waterlily (Nymphaea odorata), Common Water-Crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis), and Yellow Pond-Lily (Nuphar sp.). Common Water-Crowfoot, to my surprise, turns out to be a close relative of ordinary buttercups. And I have never seen Yellow Pond-Lilies before.

Yellow Pond-Lily (Nuphar sp.) in full bloom

My iNaturalist observations for July 2