PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. -- Dawn came to the great river in a windless hush, the low sky brushed with muted pink and orange.
As light filled the backwater, a gray, cottony mass drifted overhead, obscuring the tops of the bluffs. Mist settled into the slough.
Mother Nature is a master at balance. As we sat in the damp stillness, the slate-colored sky came alive.
Flock after flock of waterfowl streaked over the horizon, wings ripping air as the birds banked and flared.