I was starting to feel the signs of Vitamin D deficiency. Thankfully, the Creator blessed us with a gorgeous sunny day and I was happy to spend it at The Springs. The agenda for the day included spraying garlic mustard, girdling aspen and cutting some buckthorn,
I interrupted a pair of geese in a pool just below the Scuppernong Spring as I was fetching some drinking water for the day.
With the light snow and chilly temps, I decided to try girdling some aspen down by the Indian Springs until the sun could do its work. Here is a view of the two groups of aspen clones I wanted to get.
It’s getting easier and I was able to girdle around 15-20 trees in a couple hours.
The garlic mustard, spotted knapweed and other weeds are just emerging and it’s a perfect time to spray them with glyphosate. The plants are small, so they require less spray, and the weeds are the only things that have leafed out so there is very little collateral damage. I finally got a couple of decent backpack sprayers and that made it a lot easier. I ended up spraying the rest of the day using 12 gallons of mix and covering the south end of the trail including the Indian Campground, Indian Springs and Marl Pits. No doubt there will be additional weeds emerging from these areas, but our efforts over the last two years are paying off and the weeds are on the run.
This is a great time to visit The Springs if you are a birder. Ruby crowned and gold crowned kinglets are migrating through and they are fun to watch. Sand hill cranes, great blue herons, ducks, hawks, vultures and pileated woodpeckers, amongst many others, are active as well.
Here is a view of the Hillside Springs. Last June, these springs were completely covered with water cress and the surrounding hill was a thicket of buckthorn and honeysuckle; you couldn’t even see the boardwalks.
John and Sue Hrobar hike at The Springs frequently and they are keen observers of flora, fauna and fallenover. They reported that the pole holding the antenna at the stream gaging station had broken free and was leaning against the bridge. Anne Korman, Assistant Superintendent Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit, came out to investigate and within a day or two, Mike Parsen, Hydrogeologist with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and Rob Waschbusch, from the US Geological Survey got it repaired.
There were a lot of people at the springs today and I had a great time meeting and talking with them as I was taking a leisurely walk.
The frogs are back!
See you at The Springs!