I’m riding a lymes roller coaster physically, mentally and emotionally frequently checking in with myself; how do I feel? The doxycycline antibiotic helped with the more acute symptoms and now I’m working on next steps with Dr. Norm Schwartz and we’re seeking consultation from Dr. Robert Waters as well (see this interesting story about Dr. Waters for more on lymes and the insurance industry). There is nothing like a day at The Springs to help me forget about it.
I was reminded yesterday of the wonderful opportunity we all have to nurture the land and, more specifically, how lucky I am to be realizing my vision for the landscape at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Preserve and Trail. This article from Wisconsin Trails includes a wonderful quote from John Muir that has inspired me ever since I first read it on a sign at the Hartland Marsh Ice Age Wetland trail head.
A year before his death, John published “The Story of My Boyhood and Youth,” in which he wrote extensively of his time at the farm and his adventures there:
“Our beautiful lake, named Fountain Lake by father, but Muir’s Lake by the neighbors, is one of the many small glacier lakes that adorn the Wisconsin landscapes. It is fed by twenty or thirty meadow springs about half a mile long, half as wide, and surrounded by low finely-modeled hills dotted with oak and hickory, and meadows full of grasses and sedges and many beautiful orchids and ferns. First there is a zone of green, shining rushes, and just beyond the rushes a zone of white and orange water-lilies fifty or sixty feet wide forming a magnificent border. On bright days, when the lake was rippled by a breeze, the lilies and sun-spangles danced together in radiant beauty, and it became difficult to discriminate between them.”
The valley along the Scuppernong River headwaters is transitioning from a brush encircled, phragmities and cattail filled marsh, to an open, wet meadow, alive with grasses, rushes, sedges and flowers of all kinds. Thanks to Lindsay Knudsvig for the many volunteer hours he contributed last year to making this happen.
I was at it again yesterday pulling spotted knapweed on the sand prairie and purple nightshade on the south end of the loop trail and using my hedge cutter to lop off the flowering tops of the cattails and phragmites. In most cases the seed heads were just above the height of the flowers emerging from below so I was able to leave the later undisturbed. Hopefully, I have my phenology right, and the phragmites and catails will not set seed again before the winter.
The Sand Prairie was lovely as I pulled spotted knapweed (pics and video courtesy of my iphone since I forgot the camera).
I started with the hedge cutter at the Scuppernong Spring, at the south end of the valley, and worked my way north on both sides of the river up to the spur trail that leads to the Hidden Spring, and then focused on the east side of the valley. I covered a lot more ground than I thought possible and that is really encouraging.
Last Saturday’s effort on the north end.
And yesterday’s work on the south end.
Its been a bumper year for mosquitoes at The Springs, in contrast to here in Milwaukee, where I don’t think I’ve seen more than a couple mosquitoes all season. It was cool enough to wear a pumori and I tucked the bug net inside, keeping hands pocketed as I watched another day ending.
See you at The Springs!