I Left My Heart At Bluff Creek

I’ll always love the Scuppernong Springs, but there is an even prettier, more pristine, more remote complex of springs at the Bluff Creek State Natural Area.  There aren’t any noisy highways or bright lights nearby; just babbling waters emerging beneath old oaks in classic Kettle Moraine country.

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The headwaters of Bluff Creek are a Class I Trout Stream!

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It was great to get back to work in the forest and the highlight of the week was returning to the Bluff Creek Springs with Zach Kastern, Jared Urban and the hard-working, dedicated State Natural Areas volunteers.

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Zach had done some preliminary work cutting and piling and he arrived early to light the fires.

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Soon we were all hard at work.  Thanks to Pati for these pics!

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We wrapped up the morning’s efforts around noon and munched on some Valentine donuts.

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A few of us continued working in the afternoon and here is how it looked at the end of the day.

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That was Chris Mann and Zach Kastern talking shop after we visited the springs on the north side of the ridge.  We hung out by the fire and watched the ducks and geese drift in for the night; it was blissful and none of us wanted to leave.  It’s very inspiring to work with a big group of volunteers like we had yesterday.  Lord knows we can’t rely on the arbitrary whims of the legislators in government to do the right thing by the land. 

I got back to work last Monday cutting buckthorn amongst the tamaracks on the north west side of the Ottawa Lake Fen SNA.  I can’t wait to see the tamaracks sans buckthorn this spring!

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Here is the view from the pond.

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The Buckthorn intertwines with the tamarack and kills it.

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It will take a few more days to finish clearing this grove.

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Ottawa lake sunset.

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On Wednesday, I got back to The Springs to cut and burn buckthorn just down the trail from signpost #2.  Here is how it looked before I got started.

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I’m standing by my sled, which you can see in the picture above, for the next two shots.IMG_4887 IMG_4886

I’m really looking forward to clearing this stretch of buckthorn between signpost #2 and the marl pit factory so that you’ll be able to see across the Scuppernong River Habitat Area to the Kettle Moraine ridges to the south.

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Looking back up the trail towards signpost #2.

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By the time I dropped my gear off at the truck and changed into some dry boots, the sun was already down.

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See you at The Springs!

One thought on “I Left My Heart At Bluff Creek

  1. Pingback: The Cornfields of Hartland | I Am The Buckthorn Man

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