After a couple days, I start to miss The Springs. They draw me away from the present moment into a dreamy future, which became reality for me last Thursday as I worked, wandered and wondered in a Garden of Eden. This place is flowing with living waters and I drew some for the day at the Scuppernong Spring.
I crossed the Indian Campground on my way to an area at the bottom of the slope to girdle some Aspen trees.
It wasn’t until I started working with real Indians, I mean people born in India, that I started to become frustrated with the common use of the term here; a case of mistaken identity. Language is so powerful! Who were the “First People”, the “Native Americans”? If only we could have learned from them how to live in harmony with the land and honored them with their own names.
Watercress and quack grass are two non-native plants that can really take over an area. Lindsay pulled a ton of these invaders from the Indian Spring, or maybe we should call it the Sauk Spring after the tribe, along with the Fox, that ceded over 50,000,000 acres of their tribal lands to the United States in the Treaty of St. Louis back in 1803. Cede — to surrender possession of. We didn’t expect these deeply rooted plants to disappear and I thought it would be a good time to clean the spring again.
After girdling aspen for a while, I donned some rubber knee boots and pulled the new batch of water cress and quack grass that were rapidly spreading. Here are a series of videos and photos taken later in the day that give a tour of the Sauk Spring.
I love the sound of the water.
This view is a bit downstream from the source where an earthen dam was blocking the channel.
There is a second spring source that merges with the main channel on its way to the Scuppernong River.
The Sauk Spring is a relatively quiet place to hang out with a great view of the prairie.
Next, I headed to the old barn site, which is quite a bit noisier, to pile some buckthorn. Garrett and Jenny, two new volunteers, joined me and we did some stacking. I’m hoping to work with them again soon!
Finally, it was time for some fun and by this time the clouds had been blown away by a refreshing north wind.
This vernal pool as at the south end of the loop trail.
The Sauk Campground is a sand prairie that really comes alive with color in the spring. The Hoary Puccoon is in full bloom.
And so are the Wild Lupine!
On my way to the marl pits at the north end of the Sauk Campground…
At the pits looking east towards the Sauk Spring area.
May Apple on the cut-off, aka “lost”, trail.
It was a lovely, cool, bug-free, full-moon evening and I watched the sun go down from the Marl Pit bridge.
See you at The Springs!