It certainly has been a while since an update. While I have not been able to get to the wetlands as often as I would like, when I have gone, it has been considerably quieter than usual. I meet others walking there who have had the same experience and wonder, “Where are all the birds? Where are all the mammals?” There are likely several reasons–the large number of off-leash dogs, noise from the SLT, more people using it for running and biking, and of course, climate change. I like going when the weather is bad so I can have it to myself for the most part. That’s how I got to see this amazing mink.
I recently wrote to all of the Lawrence City Commission Candidates and asked them where they stand on the destruction of the Wakarusa Wetlands and if they would support KU returning the land it owns to Haskell. This is a brief overview of where the candidates stand on this issue. Only Scott Criqui and Leslie Soden where direct in their answers and overwhelmingly supportive of doing whatever we can to save this sacred space.
Mike Amyx never answered my question regarding whether or not he would support the return of land from KU to Haskell. He did make it clear that he is an “advocate for the SLT in its present alignment.”
Rob Chestnut believes the SLT is greatly needed and its absence is a safety issue for people.
Scott Criqui said he lobbied for the 42nd street route during the 90s. He supports KU returning its 20 acres to Haskell.
Jeremy Farmer believes the biggest problem with all of this is that folks at “Haskell were more miffed at the way this was handled, than actually losing the land itself.” He also said, if he could, he would “sit down with folks from Haskell and see what they could live with and what they couldn’t live without and then go from there.” He did not answer my question regarding KU returning the land to Haskell.
Terry Riordan did not respond to any of my questions.
Leslie Soden said she is not in favor of the destruction of the wetlands and would support KU returning its land to Haskell.
I watched this wonderful mink going back and forth between a den and somewhere in the woods. At first I thought he/she was transporting young because she/he made the trip twice. I’m just not sure that is a kit she/he is holding. I do my best to always stay back and try not to disturb anything or anyone. Even though I was hanging back and waiting for her/him to pass by again, minks are just so darn fast that I couldn’t get a great look. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Fast, fast, and fast.
I’ve been seeing quite a few minks at the Wakarusa Wetlands lately. They dart out to take a look at me, but move so quickly, they’re almost always gone by the time I get the camera up and ready. I have managed to get a few interesting shots over the last few weeks. They certainly are cute! Click on pictures to enlarge.
Running across the ice.
This one swam right up to me a few times. Wonderful!
Unmask.Unearth: Discovering the Wetlands
Art Show opens July 23rd, 6-9pm
Youth Ensemble Performances – July 23 & 24th at 7pm
The Lawrence Percolator, Ninth and New Hampshire, Lawrence
Look for the green awnings in the alley between the Lawrence Art Center and Ninth Street.
The animals of the Wakarusa Wetlands need our help. Help save this sacred space. Don’t pave their homes.
Saturday morning, I met another unfortunate victim of Douglas County’s draining of the Haskell side of the wetlands.
While I love all the beings who live at the wetlands, I’ve had many enchanting encounters with minks and this just really got to me. On behalf of the minks and all the beings who live there, please continue to contact the County Commission and do whatever you can to help.
Contact for Douglas County Commission:
To donate to the Wetlands Preservation Organization:
Care of W.P.O
155 Indian Avenue #4999
Lawrence, KS 66046
WPO is on Facebook
Today, at 4:00 PM, you can help the beavers restore the wetlands north of 31st Street. The WPO and supporters will be moving a pile of rocks from near the Baker wetlands entrance to the breach in the dam near Haskell Ave. Park on the south side of 31st. If you can’t move rocks, come and hold signs, or just come. Please spread the word!
I had my first encounter with an American mink at the Wakarusa wetlands yesterday. I am in love! I’ve seen them a few times from a distance, but this time I was privileged to have two very inquisitive minks come up and check me out. The first one spent a lot of time watching me. She came up a few feet, then stopped, then went back a few feet, then she would do it again. This went on for a little while and each time she got a little closer. I was a little nervous, but I didn’t have any sense that she felt threatened and I didn’t really. We were just curious about each other. After a little flirting, off she went. Near the same spot, I met another one who watched me from the cover of grass for quite a while before coming up very close, then running off. She dove into the water, but then couldn’t resist swimming by where I was standing for one more look. So cute, so charming! One thing that put a little bit of a damper on the morning was just how wonderful the experience was and then thinking about the possibility of the SLT. Would you destroy her home to shave five minutes off your commute? Click on pictures to enlarge.