“Rain drops keep fallin’ on my head…” I’ve been feeling a bit like “the guy whose feet are too big for his bed”. Per B.J. Thomas’ example, “… I just did me some talkin’ to the sun” yesterday, pulling weeds all day on the sand prairie, site of the Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk and Sauk Native American campgrounds, and that snapped me out of it. I got that “peaceful, easy feeling” that comes when you know you’re in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
I’m investigating whether or not I might have gotten infected with borrelia burgdorferi (lymes) and taking doxycycline, as a precaution, while I figure out what to do next. I feel pretty good now and I’ve been working at the Hartland Marsh the last two weeks, mowing, brush cutting and meeting with the village administrator, Dave Cox, to help initiate a prescribed burn program. It’s been a few years now since I was focused on the marsh and, with all the rain we’ve been having, the buckthorn and other invasive plants are quickly turning it back into a jungle. Fire inspires hope that my efforts at the marsh will not go to waste. If you haven’t visited the Hartland Marsh yet, put it on your list; it’s uniquely beautiful.
Yesterday, I spent a rejuvenating day at The Springs and I’m going to jump ahead to the highlight of day when I walked down to the old barn site and saw that the DNR Trout Stream Therapists, like elves from middle-earth, had worked some magic to continue healing the river. Well, maybe it was just a lot of planning, deep river knowledge and hard work that produced the excellent results you can see below. This area corresponds to site #3 on the map in the post linked above and it looks like they are queued up to complete site #2 in the near future. Thanks to Ben, “Gos” and their crew for their continued efforts to nurse the river back to health!
I started the day at the Scuppernong Spring getting some water.
The sand prairie is lush with spiderwort and other native flowers, as well as lots of weeds.
The Scuppernong Prairie
John Hrobar alerted me that hoary alyssum was spreading like crazy and I decided to spend most of the day pulling this weed, since it was in peak flower, rather than continue piling brush in the woods, as I had planned. So, after spraying Transline on the short, black locust trees that have sprouted on the hillside just west of the scuppernong spring in the morning, I spent the rest of the day pulling hoary alyssum and spotted knapweed. All the rain we’ve been having made the weeds easy to pull and they came up roots-and-all, which was quite edifying. White Campion is another weed that is establishing itself on the sand prairie and I’m trying to figure out what to do with it; maybe nothing this year.
I returned to the Scuppernong Springs in the late afternoon to reminisce about the wonderful visit I just had there with my Mom, Dad and brother Joe.
Then I wandered down the left bank of the river visiting the hillside and hidden springs.
I’m not sure what this flower is… looks a bit like Indian Hemp.
Sunset at the marl pit.
See you at The Springs!