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What’s going on in your woods (Spring edition)


I’m in the middle of doing Learn About Your Land classes on the eastern side of the state right now, and this week’s class is all about “What’s in Your Woods”. Good time to be thinking about this month’s blog post. Before I started the class last night, I asked folks what they had most recently been doing in their woods. The first three answers were hunting morels, pulling garlic mustard and cutting firewood. So I guess they should get credit for writing this post.

Something in the Water

Photo By ZabMilenko, via Wikimedia Commons

The spring melt is on, and every hike lately means wet feet. We live along the Wisconsin River, so I’ve been thinking about where all that spring runoff goes. In Wisconsin, we have what are called “Best Management Practices for Water Quality”. These are voluntary practices for forestry that help us protect our riparian areas, or the interface between our land and water. The intent of these recommendations is to prevent polluted runoff (soil, chemicals, and nutrients) from getting in to lakes and streams, and also to prevent temperatures from rising too much in the water.


Winter Phenology

“Keeping records enhances the pleasure of the search…”- Aldo Leopold

Leaf pick-up is happening in our neighborhood this week, which means it is time to prepare for winter. In fact, we saw our first snow last week. Although the lovely colors of fall are almost gone, I did come across a few hold-outs as I was out making my recordings today. The berry leaves are still red, and that pesky buckthorn is still in full green glory.  


Journaling Changes in Your Woods

This past spring I decided to start a new project, which I’ve chronicled on our Facebook page. On the first of the month, I pack up the dog and camera, and head out to the woods to get photos of whatever is growing at that time of the year. It was such a nice relief to get out there in the spring and see the new green popping out everywhere. I was less excited when the hike turned into a sprint to escape the hordes of mosquitos.