Spring Cleaning

It was around this time last year that we met Don Dane and Tim Peters at The Springs and expanded the scope of our restoration effort to include opening up all of the springs that feed the Scuppernong River, and clearing the river itself. Like Neo in The Matrix, who followed the white rabbit to discover the truth, we are also on a journey of exploration and learning to discover “the truth” of what the Scuppernong Springs area was like before the invasion of the white settlers. Terence McKenna coined the term Archaic Revival and it strikes a chord with me.

I had the pleasure of spending Friday, May 24, at The Springs. The northeast winds that arrived the day before continued to blow and the sky was impeccably blue. DNR naturalist/guide Melanie Kapinos and long-time Ice Age Trail Alliance member Barbra Converse, who gives tour of The Springs, stopped out to chat.

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Barb asked ‘why do you do it?’ and I really appreciated the opportunity to explain myself. It will take a long time to “revive” this area after many, many years of neglect. As I walk the land and observe the recovery from the burn, I see tons of weeds amongst the good native flowers and grasses. Much of the green you see in the post-burn pictures I have been posting is from buckthorn seedlings, thistle and burdock patches, phragmites, cattails, garlic mustard, spotted knapweed and other invasive plants. The journey back to health for the Scuppernong Springs Nature Preserve and the Scuppernong River Habitat Area will be long and I take every step with joyful anticipation.

Barb led us to these distinctive Oak Gall specimens on the Sauk Campground sand prairie.

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As I was spraying spotted knapweed at the sand prarie, I noticed this attractive White Spotted Sable Moth.

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And this vibrantly green Lady Fern.

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I continued girdling Aspen on the slope behind the Hidden Spring. The fresh air made every breath a pleasure!

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I spent the afternoon pulling watercress, phragmites and cattails from the Hatching House Springs and the Hillside Springs. These springs have nice, stony bottoms and look like great trout spawning habitats. I harvested a healthy dose of watercress at the Scuppernong Spring, which has the sweetest cress of them all.

Pati joined me for the rest of the day and we reveled in the beauty.

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If you love clouds, check out this site! I tried to capture the wisps floating by.

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Sunset at Ottawa Lake.

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See you at The Springs!

4 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. John Hrobar sent me this link explaining how Brown Trout spawn: http://www.troutu.com/class/how_trout_spawn

    My claim above in the post that the cleaned out feeder springs “…look like great trout spawning habitats.”, is wishful thinking. I should do more research before making such assertions.

    The author of the article, James Marsh, does say “When the ideal conditions can’t be found, or the weather and water conditions aren’t right, the trout will spawn wherever and however they can.” So any efforts we make to create “the ideal conditions” will provide some advantage.

    I am actively pursuing the question of whether or not there is a naturally reproducing population of trout in upper stretch (above the dam that forms Upper Spring Lake) of the Scuppernong River with contacts at the DNR.

    Thanks John!

  2. Pingback: The Poison Paradigm | Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail

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