Saturday, June 12, 2010

Door Peninsula Wisconsin

     With the golden sunrise at his back, the eagle leaves South Manitou Island and flies west across the clear, blue-green waters of Lake Michigan to the Door Peninsula, a finger of land jutting into Lake Michigan's waters from Wisconsin's mainland.  He is tired after his fifty mile flight that took him over the 45 degree latitude; exactly halfway between the equator and the north pole.  He rests in a tree on the shoreline and his head turns slowly and he tucks it under one powerful wing while one great foot locks around a white pine branch.

     On the west side of Lake Michigan the Door Peninsula stretches 75 miles separating the big lake from Green Bay.  Native Americans and French trappers found the channel so treacherous for their canoes they named it "porte des morts" or death's door.  Today it is simply called the Door Peninsula.

     It's shore line has been carved into caves, arches and cliffs by the turbulent waters. The limestone is part of the Niagara Escarpment laid down in ancient saltwater seas.  Fossils embedded in the rock show what creatures lived long ago.  Today ancient cedars cling to the rock and the woods ring with birdsong. 

    The area is famous for its fish boils: whitefish steaks, potatoes and onions prepared over an open fire. 

     The eagle sleeps in the branches of a white cedar clinging to layers of limestone.

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