I’m celebrating true freedom from the mental chains of law and government! I was recently introduced to the work of Marc Stevens, who stands tall on the shoulders of people like: Lysander Spooner, author of No Treason (audio here), Frederic Bastiat, author of The Law (audio here), and Etienne de la Boetie, author of The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude.

Marc’s book, Adventures In Legal Land,

is an evolution of the principals of true freedom espoused by the aforementioned authors applied to our current political, legal systems. Don’t go to court without reading this book! I have been studying history and philosophy searching for the truth, which is the key to happiness according to Aristotle, and now I finally understand. Our Political “law” is nothing but the arbitrary WILL OF MEN and WOMEN. Government exists to direct and control our minds; the “State” is a figment of our collective imaginations. The Constitution is a “written instrument” that was only witnessed, not signed. It is not a binding contract (which must include an offer, acceptance, a meeting of the minds and consideration) on ME.

If the Catholic Church declared that my home was located in a “parish” that the pope drew on a map and that I must pay tithes to support their god works, I would laugh at them. Government is no different; it’s based on belief, faith and, ultimately, on violence and coercion. What facts and evidence do government bureaucrats have to prove that they have jurisdiction i.e., control, over me, and that their codes apply to me? They will point to the “law”, the arbitrary will of men, as if that were evidence that the laws apply to me. Shame on these sophists and their fallacious circular reasoning! I don’t believe in their “state” and their “laws”. They’re noth’in but a badge and a gun! Free your mind!

Those were my thoughts on Independence Day as I worked the brush cutter at the Hartland Marsh and later, The Springs. I had to visit the “grandfather” oak before I got started. Here is the trail leading from the Waukesha County Land Conservancy property to the junction of the Village of Hartland and Ice Age Trail properties.



The Mystery Island



The Patriarch



Back at the Parker Brothers’ homesite



Looks like a job for the “river rats



Here is the trail on the Village of Hartland property just below the gazebo on Cottonwood Ave.


A couple video perspectives

Out on the boardwalk, which I was trimming.


After finishing the trail maintenance for this year at the Marsh, I went to The Springs to pull some weeds. I thought the white clover at the marl pit bridge would pull right out, like the hoary alyssum on the sand prairie, but it was quickly evident that I’d need the brush cutter again.



Crown vetch

I’m adjusting my game plan regarding scheduling work and what to focus on to recognize when the best time to strike at the weeds may be. The goal is to reduce the invasive species, using as little poison as possible, by preventing them from going to seed whether by pulling or cutting. Buckthorn alley will have to wait.

Pati peddled her bike out from Milwaukee and we had a picnic dinner at Ottawa Lake followed by fireworks at Pewaukee Lake; a very nice day. I’ll be back around the 15th.

See you at The Springs!

Journey Down The Scuppernong River Part 4

When you merge curiosity with a little experience you get curience.  Add in a dash of optimism and you get opticurience.  Etymology aside, that about describes our states of mind as Pati, Lindsay and I embarked on what we thought would be the final leg of our Journey Down The Scuppernong River.   We new what to expect just west of Hwy 106, but the Prince’s Point Wildlife Area was a mystery. Would the ice be stable enough to walk on? How extensive were the wetlands bordering the river and what would the water level be. There was only one way to find out.

Our goal was to follow the river from Hwy 106 to where it merged with the Bark River just east of Hwy D, a mile or 2 south of Hebron.

In hindsight, the idea that we could cross the Scuppernong River at some point near its confluence with the Bark wearing teva’s is pretty laughable; par for the course though, if you know me.

This area is a major thoroughfare for migratory birds and we scared up hundreds of geese, cranes, ducks and other birds from the river as we progressed west. Flock after flock of birds passed over head. We were being watched and I’m sure they wondered where we thought we were going.

As we approached the only bridge over the river, we new this was our last chance to switch sides. I don’t know if it would have been any more hike-able on the south side, but I naively insisted that we had a better chance on the north side.


As the river neared the Prince’s Point Wildlife Area and escaped the confines of the embankments, it spread out in a vast flood plain. We tried to thread a path over the thin ice to the high ground to the northwest with the hopes of rejoining the river bank further downstream. When I began “post-holing” through the ice past my knees we realized that it was not our day. We retreated north to Koch Road leaving the flooded bottom lands of Prince’s Point and headed west to cross a bridge over the Bark River and connect with Hwy D, where we headed south to the parking lot and Lindsay’s waiting truck.


We are going to wait a few weeks and paddle the stretch from Hwy 106 to the confluence with the Bark River to complete our Journey Down The Scuppernong River. This will be a lot of fun!

See you at the Springs!

Redemption at the Hartland Marsh

I’ve been looking for a word, an idea, that captures how I feel about finally burning the hundreds of brush piles I left at the Hartland Marsh.  Redemption!  It looks and feels much better now that most of the piles are gone.  You can see the lay of the land more clearly; the view of the horizon through the trees.  The scale of the big oak trees is more evident when your eye can follow their lines from the earth to the sky without being obscured by piles of brush at the trunk.

On Monday, February 18th, the Village of Hartland DPW crew (Dave, Jake, Josh, Tom) took advantage of the southerly winds to burn the most problematic brush piles right along Cottonwood Ave on the hillside just north of the gazebo.  Yesterday they helped Rich Csavoy, who volunteers with me at the Scuppernong Springs, and myself burn the 33 remaining piles on the north side of Parker Island, which is just over the river from the Parker Brothers home site (this property is now owned by the Waukesha County Land Conservancy).  There are less than 30 piles to burn on Village land to complete the cleanup!

Here is a video taken yesterday before we began burning piles on the north side of Parker Island.

And a few pictures.



I must confess I didn’t have a fire in my belly to get to work yesterday and, when confronted with the cold temperature and snowy, ice-encrusted piles, I seriously considered bailing out. But I didn’t, and shortly thereafter Rich, Jake, Josh and Tom arrived to boost my energy and spirits.  Here is a video taken after the piles were burned.




I recently posted a little tour of The Springs and Islands of the Hartland Marsh. Here is a perspective taken from the hilltop where John and Jim Parker built their homestead.

Below we travel over the boardwalk that leads to the John Muir Island and take a look around there.

Sunset at the marsh.



IMG_0786 IMG_0789

I hope you enjoy this side trip to the Hartland Marsh.  This weekend we will be continuing our Journey Down the Scuppernong River.