The Kettle Moraine State Forest — Southern Unit won the 2014 Gold Seal Award for the best self-guided nature trail! There are 5 self-guided nature trails in the Southern Unit: Bald Bluff, Lone Tree Bluff, Paradise Springs, Scuppernong Springs and Stute Springs. The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks announced the contest back in August. Congratulations to all the hard working folks at the Southern Unit including: Superintendent Paul Sandgren, Assistant Superintendent Anne Korman, and especially, Don Dane — the Trail Boss!
Ben Johnson, and his wife Karen, were hard at work while Pati and I vacationed up North. They added 12 more steps to complete the erosion control on the path down to the Indian Spring from signpost #6 and they installed a very stylish bench near the Hotel Spring.
I whacked some buckthorn sprouts and seedlings with my brush cutter on Tuesday and ran into Dr. Dan Carter from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. He was documenting rare plants and waiting for the rest of his team to arrive to complete the demarcation of the wetlands for the Wisconsin DOT. I know, “Say it ain’t so Joe!”, but WisDOT is in the initial planning stage of some changes deemed necessary to make Hwy 67 safer. Please plan on attending the public meeting, which WisDOT will be scheduling for later this Fall, and help us make sure they don’t mess with The Springs.
Dan has a keen eye and he spotted the sixth known occurrence of Pipsissewa (Chimaphila Umbellata) in the area: “It is more rare in the region than any other plant I am aware of at The Springs…” (photo courtesy of Dan Carter)
I want to give a belated thank you to Scuppernong Springs Super Friend, Anne Moretti for informing me that there is a difference between Buckthorn and Chokecherry!
Last year when I was cutting in The Buckthorn Tunnel, Anne noticed that I was oblivious to the distinction and she gently pointed it out. Well, I’m a little slow when it comes to confronting my own ignor-ance and I finally “did the grammar” and now I know the difference. I’m going to let 100 Chokecherries blossom!
I had a crazy busy week and didn’t get much work done at The Springs, but Pati and I did enjoy a wonderful late afternoon at Ottawa Lake yesterday, and we caught the sunset from the Indian Campground.
Andy Buchta has started piling the buckthorn I recently cut on the east shore of Ottawa Lake. Thanks Andy!
This Tamarack was the only decent tree I found amongst the brush I cut.
The Ottawa Lake Fen State Natural Area.
Ottawa Lake seen from the fishing pier.
Sunset on the Indian Campground.
See you at The Springs!