The Pike Lake Springs

I love springs.  They’re pure and simple, shimmering musical, bubbling forth life and hope; just what I need.  So it was serendipitous that Pati and I decided to hike the Ice Age Trail in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Pike Lake Unit, where we discovered that the lake is fed by numerous springs along its eastern shore.

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The Rubicon River flows through the lake on its way to the Rock River, providing refreshing circulation.

In 2001 a 60′ observation tower was built at the top of Powder Hill that provides a unique perspective of the the surrounding Kettle Moraine topography.

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The highlight of the extensive trail system is the Black Forest Nature Trail, which takes you through a remnant of Southern Dry-Mesic Forest that includes spring-fed wetlands.

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We are definitely going to visit this beautiful place again as the seasons change.

Back home at The Springs, I had another great week thanks to a little help from my friends.  On Martin Luther King Day, I was joined by my old friend from Northwestern Mutual, Mark Mamerow, who helped me for many years to clean out the Bark River and make it navigable for canoes and kayaks from the Village of Hartland to Lake Nagawicka.

Before I dive into our modest accomplishments, I want to call your attention to An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, by William F. Pepper.  While the nation was distracted by the O. J. Simpson trial, the family of Dr. King was successfully pursuing truth and justice via a wrongful death civil trial against Loyd Jowers.  The jury deliberated for about an hour before delivering their verdict:

THE COURT: In answer to the question did Loyd Jowers participate in a conspiracy to do harm to Dr. Martin Luther King, your answer is yes. Do you also find that others, including governmental agencies, were parties to this conspiracy as alleged by the defendant? Your answer to that one is also yes. And the total amount of damages you find for the plaintiffs entitled to is one hundred dollars. Is that your verdict?

THE JURY: Yes (In unison).

There is overwhelming evidence that James Earl Ray did not shoot Dr. King and that others, “including governmental agencies” were involved.  Yet, every year on Martin Luther King day, the nation’s collective amnesia is “refreshed” by the total blackout of this important information in the main stream media.  This is the kind of thing that drives The Buckthorn Man crazy.  You can listen to William F. Pepper tell the story here.

I met Mark at the DNR parking area above the Hotel Spring and we headed to the area north of the old barn site along Hwy 67, where I have been working recently.   Our goal was to burn the brush previously cut and continue clearing the buckthorn from the hillside below the highway.  Here are a few shots taken after we got the first fire started.

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We allowed time and energy to take a tour of The Springs afterwards and I got to show off all of the cool things we did last year.  Thanks Mark!

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Last Thursday I was joined deep in the Buckthorn Alley by Chris Mann and the Kettle Moraine Land Stewards (Brian Brandt and Austin Avellone.)  We are clearing the north side of the trail, which, now that you can see, consists of rolling uplands interspersed with wetlands.  Here is how it looked before we got started (the views are looking east, north and southeast.)

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Lunch break update.

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The results far exceeded my expectations!  Brian Brandt really kicked ass, putting Chris, Austin and The Buckthorn Man to shame.  I think he might even be able to give Ben Johnson and Lindsay Knudsvig a run for their money!  Below are the same three perspectives shown above.

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Finally, on Saturday, taking advantage of the mild weather, I headed over to the east shore of Ottawa Lake to burn some brush piles that Andy Buchta stacked this past Fall.  Thanks again Andy!

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Mark Miner joins us when he can, and I really appreciated his help on Saturday to watch and tend the brush piles after I got them lit.  We had a safe and effective day burning piles along the lake shore all the way up to the east side of the Ottawa Lake Fen SNA.

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Views from the campground, site #380, where I parked my truck.

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Views from the east side of the fen.

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It’s a load off my mind when I can get brush piles burned!

A couple of closing shots from our adventure at Pike Lake yesterday.

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See you at The Springs!

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