The Indian Spring Garden

Ben Johnson and I shared one of those special days yesterday at The Springs, that make it all worthwhile.  We ignored the intermittent rain and incessant mosquito attacks to plant a garden at the Indian Springs.  Watercress and quack grass are out: native sedges, grasses, ferns and flowers are in.  When these plants take hold this will be an even more magical place than it already is.


We started the day with empty wheel barrows, just down the trail from the main parking lot on Hwy ZZ, in the buckthorn alley.  The emergence, or should I say, explosion, of a wide variety of native plants along this trail makes referring to it as an “alley” a misnomer.  I’ll have to come up with a new name.  So we arrived at the Indian Springs with our diverse loads of plants…


… and surveyed the void left by the recent removal of watercress and quack grass.

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The profile of stream bed has changed significantly since I removed the mud dam in the narrows of the picture above, and we furthered that process along by cleaning the debris from the literally dozens of springs that emerge here.  I don’t have scientific data to back this claim up, but it appeared that the volume of water flowing from each spring increased significantly as the obstructions were removed.

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Although I try to live in the present moment, I can’t help but look forward to next spring, when the transplants have settled in and we should have the deck repaired.  We spent the later part of the afternoon cutting and poisoning sumac and pulling spotted knapweed amongst the lupine patches on the west side of the sand prairie.  Thanks for your help Ben!

Pati and I are going on a short vacation (back around July 15th), so I got some licks in at The Springs this past Tuesday, cleaning up the areas around the hillside springs.  I mowed the spur trails that lead to the hillside and hidden springs, as well as the trail that leads to the emerald springs and the unnamed springs just to the north.

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In what will become a semi-annual event, I pulled loads of watercress from the headwaters at the Scuppernong Spring down to the first bridge downstream.  When my fingers encountered the planking they installed way back in the days when this stretch of the river was a trout factory, I couldn’t help but pull this garbage out.  I found huge 6×8″ beams spanning the river bed from bank to bank onto which the planks had been nailed.  These unnatural impediments to the stream flow must be removed.


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… and after.

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After removing the planks shown below, the height of the river noticeably declined.  The channel is now much deeper and more distinct.  When I showed the area to Ben on Wednesday there were two ducks, normally very skittish when humans are near, who refused to leave.  I think they liked the change.


Along with the aforementioned beams embedded in the river bottom, there are still more planks and pipes left over from the old days that we plan to remove in the coming weeks.  This will go a long way toward facilitating the river’s return to a natural steam bed in this area.

Again, the late afternoon was spent digging and pulling spotted knapweed along the main trail on the sand prairie.

I thought it was going to be a classic Scuppernong Sunset as I bathed in the river, but this bank of clouds came up fast from the northwest.  I can’t remember a spring and summer where we have gotten so much rain so consistently.


See you at The Springs!

SEWRPC Surveys The Springs

I love to landscape the landscape at the Scuppernong Springs.  This distinguished tract of land deserves our love and attention for the sake of its beauty.  So please, come out and help me dig a little spotted knapweed from the sand prairie!


The lay of the land at The Springs was evoked beautifully by John Muir, in his classic: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, and I had to pinch myself last night as I walked alone behind the Scuppernong Spring and thought: ‘this is my garden’.


I’m intrigued by how others experience my garden.

Here is a great image from Landscape Photographer Byron S. Becker: “The photograph was taken in the spring of 2008 along Suppernong River near sundown. The camera was a 4×5 with a 90mm lens, using TriX 320 film and the exposure was 2 minutes; the developer was Pyronal.”

45BW56-1 Scuppernong Creek

Below is an example of Kristen Westlake’s Fine Art Photography.  You can see more of her images of The Springs, and all of her other outstanding work, here.


I had a wonderful week of beautiful weather for landscape gardening at The Springs!  Last Monday, June 9th, I tried something new, per the advice of Jared Urban, and burned the first-year garlic mustard off the cut-off trail with my blow torch.  Below is where the cut-off trail joins the main trail at signpost #13.

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And after…



I got the worst patches and now the trail is officially “burned in” as Don Dane would say.  I spent the afternoon digging spotted knapweed from the sand prairie and was glad to have Ben Johnson’s help with this seemingly Sisyphean task.  We focused on cleaning up the lupine patches.


On Friday, June 13, I was joined by Dan Carter, Senior Biologist with The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).  Dan was continuing SEWRPC’s ongoing effort to document the vegetation at The Springs and invited me to come along.


SEWRPC has divided The Springs into 4 areas for their vegetation surveys:

1) The dry prairie at the springs (aka, the Indian Campground)
2) The dry woods
3) The springs, immediately adjacent wetlands, and upper reaches of the creek
4) The fen and sedge meadow in the vast open area immediately to the west (includes trench where marl was mined).

The first three areas listed above are located in the blue circle on the right below and the fourth is in the larger blue circle to the left.  Click the links above to view SEWRPC’s preliminary vegetation surveys.

SEWRPCScuppernongSpringsNAList Area

As we walked through Buckthorn Alley on our way to the hotel spring, Dan and I stopped frequently to make notes and take pictures.  Dan recently completed his PhD in Biology at Kansas State University and he has a wealth of knowledge, understanding and wisdom.  Here are just a few of plants he identified.

Lady Fern


Sensitive Fern


False Solomon’s Seal


True Solomon’s Seal


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Forked Aster, a state threatened plant!






We visited the Ottawa Lake Fen State Natural Area and Dan showed me two new springs that I had never seen before.  They emerge from the east side of the wetlands and you can find them by walking across the fen from campsite #334 towards the north until you come across their outflow channels.

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Of course, there were lots of interesting plants here too.

Bracken Fern


Lake Sedge


And the carnivorous Pitcher Plant


Thanks Dan, for showing me around the place I love!


I spent the afternoon pulling and digging spotted knapweed on the sand prairie.  There is a bumper crop of this noxious invader!

A soothing sunset at Ottawa Lake.

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A “Honey” moon at the Lapham Peak Tower.


I had the pleasure of spending yesterday, June 14, at my favorite spot again.

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The Indian Spring is being quickly overrun by quack grass and water cress so I spent the morning pulling these invasive plants.  Before…


… and after.

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Then I moved up the hill to the sand prairie and continued pulling and digging spotted knapweed.  It’s going to take years to get rid of this stuff unless I get a whole lot of help.

Speaking of which, my good friend Carl Baumann, who has been harvesting black locust on the south end of the trail, split all of the logs in my woodpile setting the stage for some cozy fires at My Shangri-La.  Thanks Carl!


And Andy Buchta noticed the freshly cut buckthorn by the main entrance on Hwy ZZ and he has commenced to piling.  Thanks Andy!

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It was a great week!

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See you at The Springs!


Scuppernong Summer

Usually you’ll find me in the mountains this time of year, when they are gentle and uncrowded.  This year I’m looking forward to experiencing the waning days of summer right here at home — at the Scuppernong Springs.


I’m taking liberties at The Springs including attempting to transition the cattail and phragmities dominated marshes that border the river into wet meadows, which will encompass a wider diversity of flora and fauna.  The upper meadows (shown in blue below) are along the river valley upstream of the sawmill site #12 and the lower meadows (in red) are downstream from there to the gaging station bridge #5.


The upper meadows


It was a beautiful summer day at The Springs yesterday and I got started with a project that has been on my mind for some time i.e., re-girdling the black locust trees on the south end of the loop trail.  Some years ago the DNR hired a person to girdle the trees in this area and they did approximately 200 of them before committing suicide (he did not mention the black locust trees being a motivating factor in his last note).  Unlike this unhappy forester, many of the trees survived despite being deeply wounded.  I re-girdled around 40 trees and added a new girdle to another 20 or so.


There is a vernal pool inside the south end of the loop trail just below the trees shown in the beginning of the video above that was filling in with phragmities, reed canarygrass and Japanese knotweed and I spent some time with the hedge trimmer cutting the flowering seed heads from these invasive plants. Then I headed over to the west edge of the lower meadows at the gaging station bridge to cut some cattails. Below are before and after videos, and again, I was able to cut above most of the flowering heads of the aster, golden rod and joe pye weed.

I almost finished before the hedge trimmer jammed. Then I headed up to the south end of the sand prairie and dug out spotted knapweed for a couple hours and finally finished the day pulling Japanese knotweed on the hillside just south of the Indian Springs. It was a great day to stop and enjoy the sky, the breeze and the summer flowers that are approaching their peak color.


Another Scuppernong Sunset









See you at The Springs!

The Trivium

I had a “gut check” on the way home from The Springs last night. Jason Dare, the real deal when it comes to ecosystem management, met me by coincidence on the trail near the Hillside Springs, and, in the fading light, he helped me see a new approach to “gardening” at The Springs. As I drove home, I questioned whether or not I had made some mistakes, used the wrong poison in the wrong place at the wrong time, or missed golden opportunities to repel nascent invasive species. I faced the challenge of integrating new information that contradicted what I thought I new, and was putting into practice; I was confused!

Fortunately there is a way to dispel confusion — the liberating art of critical thinking known as The Trivium Method. As I reviewed what Jason said I recognized: The Grammar i.e., the knowledge of objects in the real world; The Logic, or process of non-contradictory identification that leads to understanding and answers the question why; and The Rhetoric, manifest in Jason’s wisdom and ability to explain the how to me. Just listen for yourself!

Armed with the trivium, I’m learning the phenology of the varied plant communities, the biology and the proper use of herbicide. I’m encouraged by people like Jason Dare, who is going to give me a list of the weeds he was inventorying for the DNR (and strategies for attacking them), and Ron Kurowski, who is going to give me a survey of native plants, and I hope other knowledgeable nature lovers will contribute as well. It seems like ever since the Native Americans were kicked out of the area in the late 1820s, people have viewed The Springs with and eye to make a buck. Now we are changing that and it is a wonderful opportunity to do something for the shear joy of it. I hope you will consider contributing your time and talents to this effort. Persistence is the key!

Had I known when I arrived yesterday morning what I know now, I would not have sprayed buckthorn seedlings and re-sprouts at the trailhead. Jason explained why October-November is the only time he will spray buckthorn seedlings and how a mix of Garlon 3a and Escort would be the least toxic approach, given the sensitivity of the area. Summer is time to focus on herbaceous weeds and that is what we plan to do from now on. Sound advice from someone with a lot of experience managing ecosystems. The knowledge, understanding and wisdom is sinking in!


Just as I finished spraying, I got a trail update from a veteran birder named Tom, who said the north end of the trail was getting really overgrown. This is buckthorn alley and I confess that I have not walked this stretch of trail since the burn. I got after it with my brush cutter.

I had intended to pile brush in an area 100 yards or so down the main trail, where the first views of the prairie open up, and resumed that objective after sweeping buckthorn alley.

Here is how it looked after a couple hours. In light of my conversation with Jason, I’m rethinking the plan mentioned at the end of this video.

It was cool and breezy all day but the darn mosquitoes came out in force as evening progressed.


Ron mentioned in his last visit that oak wilt was attacking the black oaks and here is example along the river.


A last river view before heading home


See you at The Springs!

More Trout Stream Therapy

“Rain drops keep fallin’ on my head…” I’ve been feeling a bit like “the guy whose feet are too big for his bed”. Per B.J. Thomas’ example, “… I just did me some talkin’ to the sun” yesterday, pulling weeds all day on the sand prairie, site of the Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk and Sauk Native American campgrounds, and that snapped me out of it. I got that “peaceful, easy feeling” that comes when you know you’re in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.

I’m investigating whether or not I might have gotten infected with borrelia burgdorferi (lymes) and taking doxycycline, as a precaution, while I figure out what to do next. I feel pretty good now and I’ve been working at the Hartland Marsh the last two weeks, mowing, brush cutting and meeting with the village administrator, Dave Cox, to help initiate a prescribed burn program. It’s been a few years now since I was focused on the marsh and, with all the rain we’ve been having, the buckthorn and other invasive plants are quickly turning it back into a jungle. Fire inspires hope that my efforts at the marsh will not go to waste. If you haven’t visited the Hartland Marsh yet, put it on your list; it’s uniquely beautiful.

Yesterday, I spent a rejuvenating day at The Springs and I’m going to jump ahead to the highlight of day when I walked down to the old barn site and saw that the DNR Trout Stream Therapists, like elves from middle-earth, had worked some magic to continue healing the river. Well, maybe it was just a lot of planning, deep river knowledge and hard work that produced the excellent results you can see below. This area corresponds to site #3 on the map in the post linked above and it looks like they are queued up to complete site #2 in the near future. Thanks to Ben, “Gos” and their crew for their continued efforts to nurse the river back to health!

I started the day at the Scuppernong Spring getting some water.



The sand prairie is lush with spiderwort and other native flowers, as well as lots of weeds.

Common Milkweed



The Scuppernong Prairie


John Hrobar alerted me that hoary alyssum was spreading like crazy and I decided to spend most of the day pulling this weed, since it was in peak flower, rather than continue piling brush in the woods, as I had planned. So, after spraying Transline on the short, black locust trees that have sprouted on the hillside just west of the scuppernong spring in the morning, I spent the rest of the day pulling hoary alyssum and spotted knapweed. All the rain we’ve been having made the weeds easy to pull and they came up roots-and-all, which was quite edifying. White Campion is another weed that is establishing itself on the sand prairie and I’m trying to figure out what to do with it; maybe nothing this year.

Hoary Alyssum

I returned to the Scuppernong Springs in the late afternoon to reminisce about the wonderful visit I just had there with my Mom, Dad and brother Joe.

Then I wandered down the left bank of the river visiting the hillside and hidden springs.


I’m not sure what this flower is… looks a bit like Indian Hemp.


Sunset at the marl pit.








See you at The Springs!

Scuppernong Safari

Come along as Jon Bradley takes us on his recent amazing adventure at the Scuppernong Springs!

If you are receiving this post via email by subscribing to this site, you can click, or double click, the pictures to display them full screen; well worth it for Jon’s beautiful photographs. If you hover your mouse over a picture and a youtube link appears, follow it.

The last time out, I was taking sunset photos from the marl pit canal and noticed someone hanging out on the bridge; it was Jon…

I had a blast at The Springs this past Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday morning. I hit the trail 5 times but only went through the whole thing once, I mostly stuck around the Marl Pits. Admittedly, I wanted to check out the new cut-off trail but couldn’t see a definitive trail.

As you saw, I installed the Tree Swallow house on Thursday afternoon. I saw a ton of Tree Swallows around that area, so it was definitely a fantastic place to put it. (Just an FYI there is a loose nail on the left side of the front, which can be pulled out to swing open the front if it ever needs to be cleaned out. It’s something I never really knew about before but read it online and figured I’d install it on that one since it’ll be at the trail, hopefully for many years to come.)


During sunset I saw this Snapping Turtle and Blandings Turtle on each side of the Marl Pit Bridge.



These Spiderwort plants were everywhere. They sure do have a nice color to them, don’t they?


I’ve never actually been to The Springs during sunset before, it was definitely worth seeing, and thankfully the mosquitoes weren’t too bad around the Marl Pit area, compared to to the first stretch of trail where they were swarming.




Friday morning at the Springs was fantastic. I hit the whole trail and enjoyed watching the springs from quite a few locations along the trail. It was a quiet day with no one on the trail and not too much traffic going by so it was a pretty relaxing stroll.



This muskrat was working all day long on its den in the largest Marl Pit.


I always have a good time hanging around the main spring, though the mosquitoes were so thick around it, I chose to continue on after a minute or two.

A few other photos I took at the trail include Sandhill Cranes at the entrance, another large Snapping Turtle in a Marl Pit (it’s markings seem to match up with the one I saw on the previous day), and a tiny Painted Turtle in the large Marl Pit.




I also got a few interesting photos at Ottawa Lake. I just missed out on this Snapping Turtle laying her eggs by the pier.



During one last bike ride around the park, I found this small Snapper by the beach parking lot and saved it from getting run over. Hopefully it headed straight back to the lake.


I’m already looking forward to my next trip out there!

(ed. note,

Just in, here is a great video tour of The Springs that Jon put together.

See you at The Springs!)

Spring Cleaning

It was around this time last year that we met Don Dane and Tim Peters at The Springs and expanded the scope of our restoration effort to include opening up all of the springs that feed the Scuppernong River, and clearing the river itself. Like Neo in The Matrix, who followed the white rabbit to discover the truth, we are also on a journey of exploration and learning to discover “the truth” of what the Scuppernong Springs area was like before the invasion of the white settlers. Terence McKenna coined the term Archaic Revival and it strikes a chord with me.

I had the pleasure of spending Friday, May 24, at The Springs. The northeast winds that arrived the day before continued to blow and the sky was impeccably blue. DNR naturalist/guide Melanie Kapinos and long-time Ice Age Trail Alliance member Barbra Converse, who gives tour of The Springs, stopped out to chat.


Barb asked ‘why do you do it?’ and I really appreciated the opportunity to explain myself. It will take a long time to “revive” this area after many, many years of neglect. As I walk the land and observe the recovery from the burn, I see tons of weeds amongst the good native flowers and grasses. Much of the green you see in the post-burn pictures I have been posting is from buckthorn seedlings, thistle and burdock patches, phragmites, cattails, garlic mustard, spotted knapweed and other invasive plants. The journey back to health for the Scuppernong Springs Nature Preserve and the Scuppernong River Habitat Area will be long and I take every step with joyful anticipation.

Barb led us to these distinctive Oak Gall specimens on the Sauk Campground sand prairie.



As I was spraying spotted knapweed at the sand prarie, I noticed this attractive White Spotted Sable Moth.


And this vibrantly green Lady Fern.


I continued girdling Aspen on the slope behind the Hidden Spring. The fresh air made every breath a pleasure!



I spent the afternoon pulling watercress, phragmites and cattails from the Hatching House Springs and the Hillside Springs. These springs have nice, stony bottoms and look like great trout spawning habitats. I harvested a healthy dose of watercress at the Scuppernong Spring, which has the sweetest cress of them all.

Pati joined me for the rest of the day and we reveled in the beauty.






If you love clouds, check out this site! I tried to capture the wisps floating by.





Sunset at Ottawa Lake.






See you at The Springs!

Spring Pleasure

Thanks again for following the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail posts!

My everloving mate, Pati Holman, just returned from a 2 week road trip and we took a wonder-filled walk around The Springs yesterday evening. Unfortunately, she was not present to help with the burn, but I did my best to provide a glow by glow account of that exciting day.

The trees were fresh with myriad shades of soft greens and the air had a slight haze to it, so, in the late afternoon light, the images captured have a slightly unfocused, pastel-like quality.




Pati and I were hanging out on the marl pit bridge when, fresh from a mud path, my spirit brother Thomas Barrett, aka Saturn Tre Volte, and “AJ” approached from the south. It took a couple seconds for the recognition to crystallize. I met Thomas at Ottawa Lake in May of 2012. He saw me lamely trying to swim and, introducing himself, promised to return in a few minutes to give me a lesson. He was a triathlete before being struck by a road raged driver while on a training ride on his bike. Thomas sought refuge camping at Ottawa lake as his head injuries slowly healed and he often helped me pile brush and pull watercress. Was it just a coincidence that Pati and I happened to be at the bridge when Thomas and AJ arrived (he had been living in Florida fighting legal battles to get compensation)?


It is natural, yet miraculous, that the plant life is recovering so quickly from the fires. New life is emerging everywhere, soon to erase all evidence of the fires.

Geraniums push up from the black.


Shooting Stars are reloading.


Wood Anemone.


Wild Strawberry.


Views from the old barn site.




We saw this patch of May Apple last spring when we cleared the buckthorn from this area and it was thick with garlic mustard when it emerged. This year, we sprayed the garlic mustard before the May Apple came out with good results.


The Hatching House Springs area is delightful.




In the last post, I included a link to Wood Betony Stachy Officinalis (Betonica Officinalis), which I assumed was actually for the Wood Betony (Pediclaris Canadensis) that we see below at The Springs.


This case of mistaken identity could be dismissed as simply another one of my biological gaffes, if it were not for the fact that when I actually read the link to Wood Betony Stachy Officinalis, that I included in the post, and realized this was not the Wood Betony I had seen at The Springs, I thought immediately of my friend Thomas Barrett.

I first used Betony for a friend who suffered a closed head injury in a car accident.  Four months after the initial trauma she still experienced frequent dizziness, headaches and disorientation, and on a few occasions had up and keeled over.  She was unable to work or drive, which, as one might expect, made being a mother a rather difficult endeavor.  Although by nature not one to lean towards the use of herbs or natural therapies, desperation resultant from the lingering effects of the injury led her to accept my offer of herbal help.  I gave her three pellets of Homeopathic Arnica to address the impact related origin of the injury, and had her take a dropperful of Betony extract as needed when her head hurt, going on a traditional use of Betony to treat concussion.  I didn’t hear back from her, but saw her a couple weeks later, and to my dismay, her pained expression told that she was still suffering from the terrible headaches.  I offered her two droppersful of Betony tincture in a glass of water, thinking that perhaps a stronger dose was in order (strange, nowadays I’d tell her to take a smaller dose…).  In about 10 minutes she asked “What was that? My head doesn’t hurt anymore…”  When I told her it was the Betony I’d sent to her a couple weeks ago she replied, “Wow! I’m going to have to start using that.”  Doing so, she recovered completely.

Yes indeed, I did conjure up Saturn Tre Volte, and the very next day, one filled with dynamic choices, we did meet at the marl pit bridge in harmoniously synchronized serendipity.  Thomas, get yourself some Wood Betony stachy officinalis (betonica officinalis)!  Be well, my friend.

Here we see Bird’s-Foot Violets and PussyToes.

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Pati really enjoyed the sights and sounds and I shared the feeling.


Check out this bunch of asparagus that Pati harvested.


Welcome home Pati.  Welcome home Thomas.




See you at The Springs!

Jon Bradley Tours The Springs

If you love The Scuppernong Springs and want to share your stories or pictures here, please contact me. Here is the latest from Jon Bradley (Thanks for the awesome pics Jon!).

Today (4/27) was one of the warmer days so far this year. I knew today could be a good day to find wildlife at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail. From the moment I stepped out of the car I knew it would be a good day on the trail. Almost immediately I heard the call of a couple Sandhill Cranes. As I was walking along the Marl Pits I saw two cranes taking off about 200 yards away. Shortly after that I discovered this Common Garter Snake along the large Marl Pit, and two Painted turtles in one of the smaller Marl Pits.



Here is a photo taken at the Marl Pit bridge facing East.


As I got down to the first Vernal Pond before the Indian Campground, I saw something move near my feet. I looked down and saw an amazing Eastern Hognose Snake. This snake is arguably the most unique snake in Wisconsin for many reasons. One of them being that it flattens its neck similar to a cobra.



I had heard that the Eastern Hognose Snake lived around the trail, but have never before seen one. It was hissing pretty loudly, though didn’t attempt to flee while I photographed it. Its important to say that all snakes at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail are harmless to people and most will do everything they can to avoid human contact.


Here are a couple of flowers (hepatica & marsh marigold) I found around the trail. Its nice to see color coming back!



A few more scenic photos:




There were a ton of birds at the Springs today. American Goldfinches, Red-winged Blackbirds, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, and Warblers of all kinds. Between the old barn foundation and hotel site, I saw this Yellow-Rumped Warbler.


On the way out, I stopped to check the water level.


It was a fantastic day at the Springs and I hope to be back at least few more times this year. I love seeing the progression of the restoration project. Its nice to see the woodland areas looking more like woodlands and less like “buckthorn alleys”. I have to imagine even some animals will appreciate being able to navigate through the woods better. I unfortunately didn’t get to the new cutoff trail this time but I definitely plan on it this summer.

Thanks Jon!

See you at The Springs!

Flora Update

Here is a guest blog from Ron Kurowski, retired DNR naturalist.

This is a photo of forked aster (state threatened plant),

which is found in only one location at the Scuppernong Springs at present.  It is found on the east side of the sand dune in the more open woods, towards the bottom of the slope (left of the boardwalk).

It appeared suddenly after several controlled burns. At times I have seen over 100 plants blooming in this general location. There is also a colony blooming at Paradise Springs, so I would suspect that it likes wet soils.

Lesser fringed gentian (state threatened plant).  The yellow flower is from
shrubby cinquefoil that is common to fens.

You will also find the larger gentian growing here too, probably reaching its peak, sometime around the middle of September.  (ed. note, the picture was taken along the Marl Pit)

This picture shows the large marl pit at its south end.

I have never seen the water level in the marl pits so low. The plant community to the left of the marl pit is part fen and sedge meadow. The fen is just starting to show its beautiful flowers, so people who walk along the marl pit in the next
couple of weeks will see several fen flowers including grass-of-Parnassus,
nodding lady’s tresses orchid, small fringed gentian (state threatened) Ohio
goldenrod, marsh thistle, and gerardia. Fens are springy wet grass lands
that very alkaline and the rich marl (calcium carbonate) soils make this a
very special site.

(ed. note Thanks Ron!  Regarding Purple Loosestrife and Tracy Hame’s recommendation that we introduce the Loosestrife Beetle, Ron explained that the DNR has been doing this for many years in this area.  I am following up with him on this to see if we should step up this effort.  The Purple Loosestrife appears to be getting the upper hand.)