Picture of the month
Several years ago we read about making a scarecrow that would have a sombrero for a hat. Then one fills the hat with seeds and birds then can feed from the hat. So next the recipe reads to place one child under the hat and tada!, we have this photo of the month picture, “child and chickadee.”
View from the Treefort
Greg Keilback …
Today out the window my eye is drawn past the still slumbering Viburnum to our headless Shagbark Hickory. The statuesque stump has one arm reaching up to the sky and another that droops down to eye-level, like a dancer warming up in the wings offstage. The lower arm is showcasing the awakening leaves of this year’s growing season. Fat and swollen, from my window the leaf-buds resemble cream-colored eggs dangling off of each twig. In just days, the buds will hatch and out will pop one of spring’s most enchanting surprises. The hickory does not have noticeable flowers, but when those bud scales peel off, the botanical show is second to none! The hickory leaf knows how to make an entrance, red carpet and all. The colors and texture of the emerging life create a performance with many layers of interesting detail. But spring’s ephemeral nature means that there are only a few seatings for such a recital; these wondrous buds deserve more than a second glance and should be observed as often as possible during what always seems to be our shortest season. Soon our headless hickory will be spending a whole year gathering resources and preparing next year’s blockbuster. Come on out to the tree fort: there isn’t a bad seat in the house, but don’t miss the curtain
The Winnebago County Forest Preserve Severson Dells Strike Force continues onward with its impressive completions. The weather is getting nicer by the week and there is NO reason you can’t come out and join us. The work we are completing within the next month will vary from small prescribed burns within the nature preserves to gathering data on flora and fauna. No matter what the work entails we always have wonderful conversation and get to stroll through the most beautiful places we are lucky enough to call our backyard.
All meeting times are 9:00 am on Tuesdays. The meeting places are the following:
Tuesday April 23, 2013 — Pecatonica River forest preserve
Tuesday April 30, 2013 — Hartley Forest Preserve
by Jeff Duchene
Guest Writer from Minnesota
What a strange winter it has been! Up until the beginning of February, we couldn’t buy a snow flake. Then the skies unleashed a flurry (actually, millions of flurries) of snowstorms through the end of March that left us with piles upon piles of snow. Now winter doesn’t want to leave! As I write this during the first week of April, we have had lows in the single digits at night and highs that haven’t gotten out of the 20s. It seems like winter will never end! One good thing that came out of all the snow this year is that I was able to dust off the snowshoes to venture out into the winter wonderland. I really enjoy snowshoeing, probably because not many other people partake in this activity and one can find peace in the woods and prairies. Although I enjoyed my time tramping through the snow, I (and everyone else around here) am ready for the snow to leave and ready for the site of green grass. Spring will come eventually….
Jeff Duchene is a Grazing Lands Specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Perham, MN
Also please check our upcoming events page.
Upcoming programs at the Dells
(so much more)
Saturday, May 11, 1:00 p.m.
Back by popular demand is Snakes Alive! with snake guy, Tom Kessenich. Join this Madison, Wisconsin herpetologist for this program designed to give the audience an inside view of the world of snakes. Tom’s interest started as soon as he could crawl out of the house and his passion for snakes is obvious. His presentation will help you understand snakes more completely and remove any fears if you have them. In addition to learning about the individual snakes, you’ll get an up-close look at the true beauty of snakes. A fascinating experience for all ages.
Free to members of “Friends of Severson Dells”; Non-members: $5/family; $3/individuals. Call: 1-815-335-2915 to reserve your seat!
At Severson Dells Nature Center
Saturday, May 11, 7:00 p.m. show
Whitney Mann is an old soul with a child’s glow. Her story is only beginning. It’s the story of a poetic farm girl from Michigan who grew up to open for Loretta Lynn. It’s the story of a young woman whose voice will break your heart but whose songs will bring you back for more.
“Whitney Mann is the best kept secret in Wisconsin,” says Willie Nelson Production Manager John T. Selman, who watched 26-year-old Mann open for Nelson. “She’s raw, she’s real. Whitney sings and writes from the heart. You can’t ask for more than that from a musician.” Whitney has opened for George Jones and has played at the Coronado Theater in Rockford, IL. Her new EP is entitled , “This Little Light of Mine.” (www.whitneymannmusic.com)