You have to walk a ways down south along the marl pit canal to get a good angle on the sun as it sets farther and farther north on the horizon. The rate of change in the amount of daylight increases as we approach the summer solstice and it is dramatically evident in the big sky country at The Springs. The trees, grasses, flowers and weeds, have responded luxuriantly to the sun and rain and the land is vibrant with myriad shades of lush greens. The Burn back on May 6th was definitely the highlight; a dramatically pivotal punctuation to Spring, 2013.
The Scuppernong Springs are a “world class site”, per former DNR Naturalist Ron Kurowski, and getting more and more well deserved love and attention these days. Spring Lover, Jon Bradley recently erected this beautiful, custom built, tree swallow house near the marl pit bridge.
Thanks Jon! It should be occupied in no time.
Amanda, Melanie and their crew of volunteers continued to install the new interpretive signs that Don Dane made. They look pretty darn good!
I was out at The Springs yesterday and sprayed some spotted knapweed on the Sauk Campground and some garlic mustard, creeping charlie and burdock between the old hotel and barn sites. “What is a weed? A Plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (more good weed quotes here). Rich Csavoy taught me another weed, white cockle, which is in full bloom on the Sauk Campground. Reed Canarygrass is already going to seed amongst the many springs in the river valley. Isn’t it ironic that Cannabis Sativa, one of the most versatile plants on earth, goes by the nickname “weed”?
It was a beautiful afternoon with a refreshing north breeze, deep blue skies and cauliflower clouds sailing by. I cut a curtain of buckthorn and prickly ash between the cut-off trail and the river on a little peninsula where Carl Baumann took some serious cuts last winter. Here is how it looked when I got there.
Five hours later…
A view from the gaging station bridge.
I saved a couple of wild plum trees amongst the buckthorn and found a patch of blue flag irises.
I did some serious relaxing at the marl pit bridge in the evening and wandered down the canal a bit to get these shots of the sunset.
See you at The Springs!