If you live in the Midwest, you have most likely either heard of or have visited the Amana Colonies in east central Iowa. These are colonies settled by Germans who were escaping their homeland and religious persecution they were experiencing in the early 1900s. This post is really not about the Amana Colonies – there are plenty of writings on the web devoted to providing historical accounts and tourist information for you to research.
No, this is about the Amana Lily Lake and its vast offering of wildlife with easy access for individuals to experience up-close. I went to the Lily Lake recently due to reports of large numbers of migratory pelicans passing through the region as they always do every spring and fall. Unfortunately, I was not treated to these large numbers on this day. I saw 3 and they seemed content being out of good range of my 270mm lens. However, I saw plenty of other bird species and critters to keep me entertained for about 2 hours.
I am happy to show to you this Trumpeter Swan that I saw almost immediately upon my arrival to the walking path that runs between the back-end of the lake and the historic Mill Race. He gave me a great portrait view, then decided to do a barrel roll. As you can see in the last photo of him, he thought it was funny.
Here is about the best shot I could get of the 3 pelicans. Imagine 300 of them lounging around! I guess I will have to also.
Many, many duck varieties inhabit the Lily Lake. In the coming days, I will share more of what I experienced.
Finally, if you go, you must eat in the Amana Colonies. While the colonies are very famous for their all-you-can-eat homestyle german cooking, I would recommend the Rose & Thorn Pub in Middle Amana. They have hands-down the best Pork Tenderloin sandwich on the planet. They are huge, hand cut, hand breaded, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and will probably take up half of your daily calorie allowance. Don’t worry about it. You can stroll around the Lily Lake afterwards and burn them off. That is precisely what I did.