The Scuppernong Springs are “a world class site” according to Ron Kurowski, the godfather of the Scuppernong River Habitat Area restoration project. I’m humbled to be a servant of Mother Nature helping take care of this beautiful place that attracts me so; it gives me the opportunity to manifest my vision for the world:
The attractive force of The Springs has been drawing a lot of attention lately.
I hope to post the work of landscape photographers Byron S. Becker and Kristen WestLake, who draw inspiration from The Springs.
The dynamic DNR duo, Melanie Kapinos and Amanda Prange, organized a volunteer workday pulling garlic mustard at The Springs and we were happy to have Wendy and Rene help us.
Like a martial arts expert, Ben Johnson turned the pull of The Springs into the capstone project for the masters degree in environmental studies (emphasis on environmental management and planning) he is working on through the University of Illinois Springfield. This is a 240 hour commitment and we thank Anne Korman, Assistant Superintendent of the Kettle Moraine Forest — Southern Unit, for expediting this DNR internship.
Just last week DNR conservation biologists Nate Fayram, Jared Urban and Sharon Fandel visited The Springs and they provided great feedback and ideas about how we can do the right thing here together. Jared was inspired by the visit and shared this excellent document, Biotic Inventory and Analysis of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, which is also available at forest headquarters.
I had a heart-warming encounter a few days ago at The Springs, specifically, at the hotel springs,
where I met a group of people who were conducting a meaningful, and possibly religious, baptismal ceremony. I was drawn by their energy, and surprised later, when they stopped on their way out to give me a beautiful, rose crystal, straight from the Black Hills, for my heart. Not my head; my heart. I get it!
DNR fisheries biologist Ben Heussner, organized a workday tomorrow to fill in with brush the wet areas on the outside of the coconut rolls they placed into the river late last fall.
And yesterday I ran into DNR Water Resource Management Specialists Rachel Sabre, Craig Helker and April Marcangeli, who were doing their annual fish count on the Scuppernong River.
Yes indeed, The Springs are attractive!
I started yesterday near the old hotel site taking down some of the aspen we girdled last year so that we can use the wood as fill along the riverbanks tomorrow.
After a couple tankfuls of gas in the chainsaw, I was ready to move to the north side of the river when I saw Craig, Rachel and April with their fish shocking sled in the river. I helped them last year and learned how they use electric shocks to temporarily paralyze the fish so they can catch and count them. A coincidence, or was it the law of attraction? I took a break from the chainsaw and followed them upstream.
Don’t miss the shocking interview with the DNR team at the end of this video!
I was a mosquito on a buckthorn leaf watching them sort, count, measure and weigh the fish.
4 Brook Stickleback
58 Central Mudminnow
10 Grass Pickerel
46 Brook Trout
What do the numbers mean?
I really appreciated them welcoming me into their workspace and giving me an interview after barely catching their breaths!
I commenced to taking down some huge aspen on the north side of the river and, an hour or so later, there they were again,
taking their annual habitat survey. I’ll let Craig and Rachel describe it.
I ended the workday cutting garlic mustard flowers with the brush cutter. It looks like its run is just about over at The Springs this year. I think we put a hurt on it.
Then it was off to the baths at the marl pit bridge and a sun setting headstand.
See you at The Springs!